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A coworker is making false statements about me to Human Resources, and now I am under investigation. Other coworkers are now treating and acting different around me because of these accusation. What should I do?

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    Is there proof that what your coworker is saying is false?
    – Jane S
    Jun 16, 2015 at 4:08
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    And conversely, does your coworker have proof that they are right (or at least evidence that seems to suggest that). Jun 16, 2015 at 6:16
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    @PaulHiemstra Unfortunately there is a saying: "Mud sticks". It's wrong, and it shouldn't be the case but more often than not the onus is on the person defending to disprove the claims, or there will always be some doubt. And that is enough to make a very, very uncomfortable working environment.
    – Jane S
    Jun 16, 2015 at 6:29
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  • my brain read this as "false statements about me something something MURDER INVESTIGATION" and I was scared for a second
    – bpromas
    Jun 16, 2015 at 15:13

2 Answers 2

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A coworker is making false statements about me to Human Resources

What should I do?

You need to talk with HR - now.

You must explain how these statements are false. You need to ask about this investigation - what you need to do in order to get it concluded quickly, and what are your rights.

And you should talk with HR about how this is affecting your relationship with your coworkers.

Good HR folks are trained to listen and understand. Hopefully this will guide them to a swift conclusion of the investigation - in your favor - and a quick resumption of good relationships with your coworkers.

Do it now - don't wait.

[As @WesleyLong wisely points out - DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Every communication, every meeting, every hallway conversation. Write it down: When and where, who was there, what was said to you, what you said to them.]

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    Yes, HR is usually trained to correctly handle more sensitive issues. But please keep in mind that, at the end of the day, HR works for the company and is there to protect the company, not you. They will have some sympathy and empathy for the employee (they're human too, after all), but it's not a vast amount. So do proceed while keeping these points in mind. Jun 16, 2015 at 12:12
  • Excellent advice: 1 additional suggestion: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. Every communication, every meeting, every hallway conversation. Write it down: When and where, who was there, what was said to you, what you said to them. Jun 16, 2015 at 18:04
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The HR's job is to treat every complaint seriously and one hopes that the HR in your organization is professional enough to follow the right procedures in an unbiased way. Hopefully that will bring out the truth.

If its just your word against his/her then its a very tricky situation. Because at the end of this episode somebody's credibility is going to be in tatters. In any case if you are aware of what you are being investigated about, you should look after yourself and ensure you have everything to back yourself - email's, peer support etc.

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