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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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my director has cornered a fellow employees and asking if I

Customer Question

my director has cornered a fellow employees and asking if I stole flowers fromthe co worker over a year ago.The employee said it was over a year ago and she would have recall of such an event that did not indeed transpire.she then asked the director about the nature of the inquiry/witchhunt,,praised my work skills and ethics and redirected her towards more productive pursuits..Do I go to HR and nip this creepy interaction in the has been ongoing.and seems to be escalating.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

If this is the director doing this, absolutely go to HR to deal with this. His claims and comments appear to be targeted towards defaming your character, and appear to have no legitimate base as you are not under investigation for anything. Talk to HR, explain that if they do not deal with this, you will claim that you are employed in a hostile work environment and you would consider a lawsuit for harassment, defamation, and your injuries stemming from the director's behavior.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 6:42 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

is inquiring about an alleged incident which basically involves stealing a serious consideration in establishing liabel and deffamation of my character at the work place and what can be the legal ramifications with this incident.Thank you.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 7 years ago.
If the incident took place, then it is not quite defamation of character--the employer has the right to pursue it. Only if the director does not stop after doing a "reasonable" review of the facts can it then grow into a possible claim for defamation. The legal ramifications are that you can sue him for injury.

To show that defamation took place (libel is a type of defamation, as is slander) you must show 4 factors:
1. that a defamatory comment
2. was made to third parties
3. about or concerning you
4. that caused you damages.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 6:59 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Please clarify.Two months ago a coworker (while I was on vacation) told fellow coworkers I had stolen her flowers from work.She had not contacted me directly. When I returned there was a note written on the board in the breakroom written assumedly by staff listing over 30 items that had been "stolen" from the department over a time period of 3 years..number one item was this woman's claim of stolen flowers.When I went to my director and explained the situation I was called an airhead and told to work it out with the woman involved.I left the coworker a note attempting to clarify the incident ( from my point)and gave her a gift card to try to put the issue to rest.In response I

recieved a note from her that stated others in the department had already chipped in to replace her stolen flowers and I would not be forgiven.Went to HR to try to set up mediation with this employee and meanwhile the employee has taken medical leave for stress so we have not been able to have any meeting( or closure) involving HR.Two months later(yesterday) my boss has taken another employee aside and asked if I have taken any flowers of hers in the past year.."someone had told her I had" The employee unloaded on her ..said no way and chided her for being on a withchhunt.I have put in a call to HR today..waiting to hear back.. to meet once again to clear the air.What do you advise..I feel the boss is not managing slander in the work place and actually keeping the pot stirred herself..Is she acting within her rights to ask about me when as fas as I know I am not under investigation.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

Please be aware that I cannot "advise" you as I am not your attorney. I can only provide you with legal information that you can utilize to make your own decision in this situation.

As for the previous incident, it looks like you gave her a gift card for her allegations against you--does this mean that you did take her items?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Not sure what your response means..Could you clarify please?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 7 years ago.
I asked whether or not you did take the flowers--the fact that you gave her a gift card tents to prove that her allegations may have some merit. Could you explain please?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I had taken the flowers home as they had been left at work for 3 days with the intention to clip them and add flower fresh and return them to work ..Originally when the employee had recieved them she showed distain as her husband had "missed the boat" in rewarding her for an accomplishment.I thought by perhaps livening up her bouquet she would perhaps enjoy them but when I took them home..fed/ changed water

and trimmed them and was ready to head out of town for a week dog decided to run off and I spent a frantic 45 minutes trying to find him and when I finally got him in the yard..I took off and forgot to return the flowers back on the counter at work and was gone for a week. When I returned the flowers were still in decent shape so I returned them as well as an explaination and the gift card.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your patience.

Then technically there is no defamation here--you did actually take the flowers without consent, and the other party is free to claim that you did so regardless of your underlying reason for it. While it is possibly a hostile work environment, and may be harassment, it is not technically a lie which avoids the claim for defamation.

I am sorry.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 7:49 PM EST