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Co Worker filed a complaint against me Oklahoma

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  • Co Worker filed a complaint against me Oklahoma

    I am fairly new to the Corporate World and am not sure how to respond to a complaint filed against me. I work in a 3 woman office which is one department of a large facility.

    One of my co workers is known to be some what off balanced. She is up one day, down the next, goes for days without speaking to me or the other gal. We have grown pretty used to that but recently it took a turn for the worse. She apparently was offended by something I did, and I am still not sure what it was. Honestly some times it doesn't take much. Suddenly an hour before quitting time she said "I am outta here" and walked out. The following 2 days she called in sick. She called into the other worker, not our boss. She has been out of the office so much for various reasons that people were noticing and commenting. The Monday that she returned to work, she was not at her desk. I asked the other worker where she was and she said she had been in the bosses office. She returned a few minutes later wiping tears. I suspect she got a talking to and probably defended her actions by complaining about me. She continued with not speaking to me for perhaps another week and a half. She chit chatted with all the others, it was obvious she was singling me out. She has also told everyone who walks into the office that she is "retiring" and is outa her in six months, she has also stated many times she hopes they fire her.

    I was miserable and could only take just so much of this silent treatment, her walking out without a word, leaving me to answer the phones, my back is to her desk across the room. I some times don't know she has left the room, she also was taking longer than usual and more frequent smoke breaks. I approached my department director, he is not my boss. He didn't know what to tell me. I finally talked to the administrator, so she had a visit with her while I was gone to lunch. My co worker admitted to her that she had been a ***** and needed to apologize to me. She admitted that to my other co worker, the director and a couple of others.

    When I returned from lunch she tried to apologize but at the moment I was too upset to talk. The following week she still didn't talk until I broke the ice and told her a funny story. We have to work together so I felt getting back to normal was the best for all.

    Ok, today, we have a new HR. I notice the payroll clerk got called in to talk to her, came back out and was very quiet. The administrator gets called in next and then me. You can imagine my surprise when she said a complaint was filed against me!! Someone has accused me of spending too much time talking to the director, she wants to know what percentage of each week do I spend talking to him. This is a small office, we all know each other and each others spouses and families, of course we talk. But I spend the majority of my time doing my work. She wanted to know why I have to ask the director questions, I have to talk to the director about various portions of my job. There are financial decisions that affect the bottom line. My boss actually has no clue about our jobs, he thinks it is simple data entry. The director of the department is the accountant and fully trained in GAP accepted policy, my boss is not. The director is the one who has to answer to corporate for any financial losses he is also the one who trained me in the job.

    A month ago I received an award for catching a potential multi million dollar mistake by doing my job well and informing the proper departments and preventing bad product from reaching our biggest customer. The President of the company stopped by and thanked me personally. This month I am called on the carpet for comments made by a person who admitted to at least 4 others that she had been treating me bad. She has stirred up a hornet's nest and not only am I worried for my job but I am not supposed to know who filed the complaint. She also made complaints against the director as well for giving me more attention. By the way this week she has had to fill in for the other lady while she is gone. Ironically she is the one who has had to go the director and spend time with him getting instruction on how to do the job.

    Long story, I know, but I am very upset. I didn't like the tone of the HR interview, I am sure I came off defensive, I am defensive, I think I am dealing with a case of jealousy and a case of a gal who thinks she wants to quit and can't find the courage to do it so she may be making me her patsy. There is no other department to move into, I absolutely need my job and I am doing a very good job at it. I also have to work with her until and if she quits and I believe I have proved that I can if she can. What I am afraid of is the corporate mentality. I was told the coporation takes these complaints seriously and I may be called in for more questioning. What happens next? Will I lose my job? Should I let it blow over, watch my interactions with the director, it will be hard to speak to him only on a business level while the rest of the staff continue on as usual.

    Do I need to document everything that has happened and been said. Do I stand a chance of being terminated on her accusations alone? Do I need to entertain the thoughts of a lawyer just in case?
    Last edited by working nana; 07-02-2008, 09:09 PM.

  • #2
    Why would you need a lawyer?

    You work in an "At-will" state. That means you can be fired at any time with our without reason or notification.

    You may also quit at any time with or without reason or notification.

    Being talked to by HR about an issue is not unusual.... especially when the entire office has been acting like children and tattling on each other.

    Honestly, when I read this, I was thinking, "Boy, am I glad I am not the HR person."... because everyone... including you, your coworkers and all of the higher ups involved, have better things to do with their time than deal with whom is talking and/or not talking to whom.


    So... in a nutshell.... yes, you could be fired for it... you probably won't, but there is no law that says anything one way or another.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.


    • #3
      Someone complaining that you talk to a Director too much is not like someone filing a complaint saying that you did something illegal. I'd be more annoyed at the person making the complaint.

      I agree with cyjeff. I would not want HR or any managers to have to waste time addressing immature, petty stuff like this.

      "I was miserable and could only take just so much of this silent treatment"
      "When I returned from lunch she tried to apologize but at the moment I was too upset to talk. "

      I don't understand what you got so upset when this person, who is normally not so stable, got angry at you and gave you the silent treatment.
      An important lesson to be learned here is "just deal with it." That's also what I would say if I were the manager who got the complaint.

      And frankly, if someone like this were giving me the silent treatment, I'd consider that a good thing.