An employee for a supplier that we are doing business with filed a complaint with his HR and my companies HR saying I threatened him with a knife. This never happened. The employee making the complaint just started working with us two weeks prior. I was on vacation when I got a call from my manager telling me about it and that he had to read me a statement from our legal department. I am still on vacation and need some advice before I return to work. To make matters worse my manager will be out of the country for the next three weeks.
In the statement I am encouraged to apologize and I am no longer allowed to even have a pocket knife on company property. Note that no one ever discussed anything with me. They also warned me that if there were any future complaints I would be fired.
According to my manager my company did an investigation and wasn't able to find any evidence to support the claim from the suppliers employee. They supposedly interviewed everyone that was present when the alleged incident took place and no one else supported the claim.
I personally believe that the claim is either personally or politically motivated. The suppliers employee making the claim is replacing an employee that they supposedly fired for poor performance. The project that we hired this supplier for has gone very poorly and as I am my companies technical expert, meaning I am the one exposing issues to my companies management, I can see how the supplier would see me as a real obstacle.
I also strongly suspect that the suppliers employee that made the false allegations may be very good friends with the previous employee that the supplier terminated and that this allegation is some attempt at revenge since they may blame me for the suppliers employee losing their job.
I asked my manager to allow me to stop working on this project so that I didn't have to be around the person that made the accusation and he said the project couldn't be done without my technical skills.
I then asked that we request the supplier to reassign their employee since he just started and he said my company would be afraid that such an action would be viewed as retaliation
I then stated that forcing me to work with someone who has accused me of something so serious puts me in a hostile
I then asked my manager to cancel his trip out of the country because with something this serious I felt like I should be his priority. His response was that if he felt like there was something he could do by staying he would but he couldn't see that there was anything he could do.
There are way too many things about this whole incident that seriously bother me to even begin to list them all.
Maybe at the top of the list is why didn't HR talk to me before coming to a conclusion.
Secondly, since no one corroborated the accusation, and there were several people in the room, why did my company bother to contact me at all and read me a statement from our legal department.
I don't know if this has any bearing but I have been with my company for 13 years and every review I have ever had has been exceptionally positive. I am one of the few employees that they have sent through their technical leadership program. I have been told that I have been identified as a person with extremely high potential.
I really don't know what to do. Needless to say at a minimum this has ruined my vacation. I am having trouble sleeping and keeping food down.
Thanks for any help you can provide.