Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Welcome and thank you for your question!
I am very sorry to learn of the facts you've described. What happened when you reported the matter to HR?
She sympathized with me, but offered no suggestions or solutions.
Okay. How did your other co-workers learn about this e-mail?
Oh, yeah, I forgot the important part, the demeaning email was sent by this person to all lab employees, the boss and the medical director, by the person who wrote it.
Thank you. What happened when you demanded that a new e-mail go out to all those folks which retracted the earlier statements?
I have no power to make demands. I was told to remain quiet.
Did HR tell you that?
Yes, and so did my supervisor.
Did you ask to have such an e-mail go out?
Yes, but no one wants to upset things by any more emails. Since they obviously believe her, they don't want me to stick up for myself. And, frankly I'm afraid of retalliation if I do.
So you are not willing to even do a "reply all" to dispute the allegations?
I am willing, but it would be a risk. I have convinced our medical director to let me send out a picture of the blood bank gel card test that she is claiming I resulted incorrectly to an independent reference lab for an interpretation. When this happens they will agree with me, then I'm planning on writting an email with the
with the evidence in hand, that she is incorrect.
In the meantime here at work, I am suffering from headaches, and generally lots of stress due to this situation.
Thank you. I understand why the whole picture seems to be entirely unfair especially when management is spineless.
And I understand the stress.
For the time being, can you understand why your co-workers would exercise caution if they don't know the whole story like you do?
In other words, they are just reacting to the information that they have, right?
Yes, certainly, If I had read that email and it related to another person, I would wonder why are they still a supervisor. Why do they still even work here, when they are that incompetant.
I know that this may be even more frustrating for you, however, saying negative things about a coworker is not grounds for a lawsuit.
To sue successfully, there has to be more. For example, wrongful claims of theft or marital infidelity.
Oh, and exercising caution is not what I would call it. Some have been close to being verbally abusive. And, the emails that were written by two of them commenting on the original email are also demeaning.
There is no law which allows a co-worker to recover solely on the basis of bad-mouthing, ostracizing, etc. What you've described is a toxic, poorly managed work environment. However, believe it or not, there is not a law against it.
There is also no law against workplace bullying.
What about wrongful claims that destroy a person's professional reputation. I have been a technologist for about 35 years now and without the confidence in my abilities, I really cannot perform effectively.
Good to know... thanks for your input.
The legislators have not created laws to make such practices illegal. Instead, they take a hands-off approach and leave it to the employer to manage their own affairs and the employees have their freedom to leave and work for a better employer.
Hopefully, the air will get cleared when you get your evidence and do you reply e-mail.
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