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Is this Slander?

Discussion in 'Human Resources' started by Michael Hollinger, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. Michael Hollinger

    Michael Hollinger Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So...My boss's boss sent me an email the other day and cc'd another employee; basically, the email accused me of deceptively altering the notes "lying" in our company's order tracking system. It started with the "boss" asking me to update notes in the system. After looking in the system, I saw my notes were entered last week.

    I replied to his email saying that the notes were already in the system.

    A few hours later, he responded and cc'd my direct supervisor with the following statement:

    Just to clarify…I typically look at the orders and notes before I ask however not always. In this case I did look and they were not there. The system does note when things are changed and you appear to have added these notes after I sent the email.

    Unfortunately, he failed to realize that every time you hit the "save" button in the system, it shows a record as updated whether anything was entered, changed, or not.

    I went to IT and had them pull a report to indicate exactly when the notes were entered and their report, indeed, showed I was correct.

    Is this slander? I was going to confront him with this evidence and proof but am wondering if I should just go directly to HR.

    By the way, I have NO write-ups, nothing but positive reviews and comments from customers, etc. I have been with the company about a year and this guy has several HR reports against him for various reasons.

    Any advice is welcomed.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    No. You have a misunderstanding.
    Be careful how you proceed. Trying to prove yourself could cost you a job. Simply acknowledging you understand without admitting any fault should end the matter.
     
    hrforme likes this.
  3. Michael Hollinger

    Michael Hollinger Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This guy has been making my life miserable for the past month or so - Cost me my job? Really? Don't want that to happen but a misunderstanding would have been his pulling me in to his office and simply asking me "Hey...Did you change the notes"? Instead, he accused me of doing so and cc'd others.

    The fact that this guy has been reported on several times, has had to apologize to several other employees in the past, was hired an "executive coach"...He's bad news.

    Maybe I'm naive but I didn't think I could get fired for going to HR
     
  4. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I'm going to tell you the same thing here I told you on the other forum.

    Going to HR over something like this is a really good way of making yourself look like someone who can't play nicely in the sandbox with others unless you're supervised, and needs HR to fight your battles for you. This is not even close to something HR should be involved in and you aren't going to make yourself look good by involving them.
     
    Michael Wechsler and hrforme like this.
  5. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    I don't see a problem with my boss's boss putting my boss in the email chain, especially if there is a question about my performance of my duties. o_O
     
    hrforme likes this.
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If you come for the king or the queen, and one or both survive, you can bet your sweet caramel corn; one or BOTH will be coming for you!
     
  7. Michael Hollinger

    Michael Hollinger Law Topic Starter New Member

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    OK. Thanks... But "especially if there is a question about my performance of my duties. o_O" seems like you're missing the point. The "boss" should have checked things out, in my opinion, before accusing.

    But I get it and thanks for all the advice - I honestly thought HR was there for exactly these kinds of issue - But I'm likely totally out of touch as I never utilized HR for anything but benefits questions :)
     
  8. Michael Hollinger

    Michael Hollinger Law Topic Starter New Member

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    OH, but - Do you think I should confront him and let him know I don't appreciate his accusations?
     
  9. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    You can, but only if you are looking for your pink slip.
     
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  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Best to let it go.
    It isn't a battle worth fighting.
    You have not described anything illegal that requires action on your part. Taking action can work against you as you become the squeaky wheel.
     
  11. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    HR has quite enough to do with monitoring illegal harassment issues and illegal discrimination issues, on top of health insurance and workers comp and performance reviews and tuition reimbursement and hiring issues and employment law questions and all the other things they work on regularly, to deal with a squabble over someone overlooking your notes and emailing about it.
     
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  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    No. Not even close.

    Sounds like a great way to get fired.

    Well...if you're looking to accuse your boss's boss of something like this, it sounds like you're dissatisfied with your job and ought to be seeking a new one.
     
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  13. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    He didn't cc "another employee", he cc'd your direct supervisor. Since part of your direct supervisor's job is supervising you and knowing what you're doing and whether you're doing it right, part of your supervisor's job performance hinges on whether the employees that they supervise are performing their jobs. It's then up to your direct supervisor to make sure that any issues have been addressed. So even though it sounds like it was just a misunderstanding, it was not wrong for him to include your supervisor.

    That said, to repeat what's been said previously, this isn't something that you should go to HR for. Nobody is saying that you could get fired just for going to HR, but HR does not exist to referee petty squabbles over who was right. If you think this kind of thing is what HR exists for, you definitely are out of touch.
     
  14. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I can certainly sympathize and empathize with you regarding on the job harassment and abuse. It's a horrendous feeling leaving you paralyzed at your employer, in fear you'll be fired for cause and no one taking the time to realize (or care) that your boss is completely at fault. The following are my thoughts and others here may have spent substantial time in a human resources department and may be a better source of feedback than myself.

    1. Please change your user name.
    2. I'd follow the advice above and not go running to human resources since your job requires you working with this person, at least for the indefinite future. Only as you need, cover yourself with short, polite replies if you feel you need that are not combative, e.g. I understand the concern to ensure we're on schedule. To let you know we are on schedule, these were filed earlier yesterday per conversation with Joe Blow and per the time stamp here. Thanks, Me.
    3. Don't push getting the last word if it isn't necessary. If you feel a need to document - you can always email yourself a summary of what transpired, some additional data that is included or attached and verifiable, and copy it to both your work and personal email.
    4. Read the company employee handbook, if there is one, and review their policies and procedures. If you're an at will employee (as many are), then you're subject to being dismissed at any time without cause.
    5. Only when you're truly have enough evidence (such as substantial breaches of policy) should you consider complaining. Keep your eyes and ears open about why they continue to keep a problem employed at work. if he or she is a subject matter expert, they may continue to tolerate the abuse and get rid of the underlings who are far more easily replaceable. If you're thinking about a lawsuit, it's usually a challenging hill to climb. I think far more often the cases are about violations of civil rights, Title VII cases for discrimination against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion (employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments.)
     

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