I see. Thank you for providing this additional information, Jean.
The law does typically permit employers to implement their own procedures with regard to investigations and whether they must follow a specific procedure when allegations arise in the workplace. I certainly agree that good practices would require that the employer investigate without rushing to judgment, but the law does not impose that on employers.
Instead, the employment at will
doctrine permits employers to terminate employees without good cause or even false reasons, although the employee could still receive unemployment benefits
in those circumstances normally.
Because the law does not impose an obligation on employers to investigate before accusing an employee of wrongdoing, it is often best to approach the employee who made the false statements about you. You may wish to do this through an attorney since the attorney can lay out the potential legal consequences for the employee if you lose your job because of her actions, such as damages for lost wages
and benefits being assessed against her for defamation or intentional interference with business relations. Usually such a warning does motivate individuals to cease such conduct. The attorney could also demand an apologize for the employee to avoid legal action against her.
Or, if you do not wish to retain an attorney for this limited purpose, then I would contact HR to aid in investigating the situation since you do have evidence the employee's statements are false. If the HR department does investigate, that will likely resolve the matter as well. However, if the employee who made the false statements is not warned of possible legal action, then she may engage in such conduct again in the future, so I would seriously consider retaining an attorney to communicate a warning to her.
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