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I was called in by HR and my boss' boss for a meeting. I am…

Customer Question
I was called in...

I was called in by HR and my boss' boss for a meeting. I am a female foreman. I was told there had been a lot of false alegations a

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

In Wyoming. I work for the State as a Maintenance Foreman. The thing that bothers me the most is I was accused of getting a promotion by performing oral sex. The HR rep said this could have been "even when you were a teenager and worked at KFC". I didn't work as a teen, I have never worked at KFC, and I have never gotten a raise this way. I had asked why my immediate supervisor was not there, and they said because they had to ask him about it. To me, this sounds like he is the one I was supposed to be doing this with to get a promotion.

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

We live in an "at will" state. I have worked for WYDOT for 16 years.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

The person whom I suspect was the one making the accusations was my assistant at one time. We had an employee who used drugs and drank a lot. This employee played the game very well and made Dennis (my assistant), think I was being too hard on Robert (the employee). Instead of talking with me, he went to my direct supervisor (Marty), and turned my whole crew against me. When Dennis finally found out what kind of person Robert really was, he turned the crew against Robert. The rest of the crew apologized to me, but not Dennis. He started talking with others about my personal information - - I found out when another person from another town asked me about things. Dennis wanted me to retire, he would probably have gotten my job, but I didn't. He transferred to another town and is a Foreman there. Last week he spent part of a day with Marty's boss, Ralph, and since he and Ellen (the HR rep) were the ones who called me in, I am assuming Dennis was the one who told all of this to Ralph, including the "fact" that I had told him I got a promotion by performing oral sex. They also went through a laundry list of things, most of which are false, but I am offended extremely by the promotion thing. Ralph and Ellen told me they were going to have to investigate this and then, of course, actions would probably be taken. I asked for a list of all the things we went over (stupidly I did not take notes) and was told they don't do that.

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
12/16/2017
Employment Lawyer: John, Employment Lawyer replied 7 months ago
John
John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,013
Experience: Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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Employment Lawyer: John, Employment Lawyer replied 7 months ago

First off, you should explore a filing of sex discrimination against the employer with the EEOC. This supposed investigation sounds like a witch hunt in the sense that even if you did this at another employer it has no bearing on your employment situation at the current employer. Further, there's no point in investigating claims that cannot be substantiated by anyone at this point. Thus, it would appear this is more a case of trying to single you out as a female rather than having any basis in fact.

With regard to investigations, there isn't much the employee can do in that phase of the matter (there isn't even the right to know why an investigation is occurring) but the employee should take a few steps to insure a fair investigation. First, the employee should request and review a copy of his/her personnel file. This may give the employee some background and/or contain the allegations against the employee. Next, the employee should try to gather as much information as possible about a) what is being alleged and by whom, b) who if anyone is a witness and what they are alleging, and c) what will be the protocol/procedure for the investigation and how long will it take.

Next, take some time to think about facts that you believe are relevant to the matter - what bolsters your side of the story, what is the background of the matter, what facts may hurt you, are the witnesses and alleging person being truthful - if not what disproves their allegations. When you've exhausted our recollection, write yourself a timeline of events (for your eyes only). Ultimately, you may want to distill this background into facts that you believe show your innocence in the matter. You will want to be sure you bring such a list with you if and when you are interviewed about the matter. Investigations vary in time length and scope. So it may take some time for you to have a result in the matter.

Once you have a result - which will range from no finding of guilt to termination of employment, you'll want to then inquire how this will affect future employment (whether it be with this employer or another) - will the matter be in your file, will management tell others about the result. The employer may also allow you to place your version of facts in the personnel file. Ultimately, you'll want to mitigate the damage to your reputation as much as possible. That can range from asking the employer not to place the contents in your file to suing the alleging party for defamation and slander. Most employers these days will not as a matter of practice place the results in the file or give any reference at all as a matter of practice for fear of being sued.

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Employment Lawyer: John, Employment Lawyer replied 7 months ago

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