What actions can you take if you have been falsely accused at your work? Can you get fired for false accusations? While workplaces must maintain professionalism and discipline at all times. Situations like these are known to come up thus leading to stressful situations where you might have to face false accusations at your workplace.
As unfair as it might be, being fired or even jailed as a result of false accusations in one’s workplace is not unheard of. Not taking proper action or losing your cool in such scenarios can and will cost you your job.
If you’re facing false accusations, it’s crucial to remain calm, gather the proper information and reach out to aid your employer or HR department during the investigation to dig up the truth.
Though I may have addressed the most definite answers to your concerns. It’s also important to know that complications such as false accusations have several underlying contexts and have different ways of tackling. Thus, in this article, I will be discussing in-depth further about how false accusations can be dealt with.
What is The Best way to Defend Yourself?
These rules or stances must be followed in order to defend your job and your reputation if you fall victim to wrongful allegations:
No Contact Rule
Anyone who is blatantly accusing you of something that you haven’t done should no longer be a part of your life. No matter how much they try to make things right, later on, you have the right to back off and cut any means of contact with them. This also includes any collaborators assisting the accuser.
If the misdeed you are being accused is of criminal origin. Don’t hesitate to spend some of your savings to hire an attorney. Being accused of serious crimes means you will not only have your job on the line but may be subjected to legal charges too. Act accordingly to the advice of your attorney in both meetings and court.
Staying calm throughout the entire investigation phase can be hard to pull off. Nevertheless, no matter how emotionally draining the situation may seem. It’s always better to limit your emotions and stay cool-headed. Specially to avoid any forms of aggression that could seriously breach your defense.
Vouch for Fairness
Make sure your employer and the HR department are running their investigation fairly. Ask them to conduct interviews on unbiased witnesses and to keep you involved in every step of the way. Even though they are obliged to stay fair, you still need to work on implementing opportunities for you to come out innocent.
Take the Fight to Them
Sometimes, the best defense is offense. If you believe in your innocence, you should work on countering your accuser’s claims. Gather relevant data, evidence, and make a journal guide to keep track of their moves as well as yours. This way you can prove their ill intentions to the authority and discredit their claims.
How to Respond to False Accusations?
There are several do’s and don’ts that should be followed when it comes to responding to false allegations.
Don’t panic: Easier said than done, however, it’s best to not let your anxiety and fear get to you. Any indication of fear may give your accuser more confidence to further entangle you into submission. Fake it if you will but don’t ever give in.
Don’t lie: Do not resort to dishonesty as it may further amplify the accuser’s stand. Don’t fabricate any evidence or tamper with existing ones as it may greatly affect the validity of your side if investigators find out.
Don’t stay low-key: Investigation will be conducted with or without your participation. Any indication of you trying to minimize communication may raise suspicion. Show and act like you have nothing to hide.
Don’t retaliate: Do not counter-accuse or shift blames by any means. It could further ignite the situation and make you seem guilty. Don’t resort to aggression.
Actions to Take In Case of False Accusations
Engage yourself in the Investigation
Do not stay idle just because you know you are innocent. The more active you are in the ongoing investigation, the faster you will be to prove your innocence. Stand up for yourself, answer questions and help gather evidence.
Use a Medium
You will avoid any contact with your accuser. However, you can ask your Employer and HR representative for details regarding your wrongdoing and stay updated about what the accuser has to say about the situation.
If you’re being accused of doing something on a particular event or incident. Let the investigators know about any relevant witnesses who were present during the event. Talk to them beforehand to get their consent to involve them in the investigation. Also, while making sure they remain unbiased throughout.
Involve your Union
If you’re part of a union committee. Make sure you are using your union representative to represent your stance on the accusation. Tell them you’re the whole side of the story so that they don’t stay blind-sighted and vouch for your innocence. Rely on them for any guidance as they usually will be more experienced in dealing with workplace accusations.
Dealing with Emotional Trauma
We’re aware of the amount of mental toll and stress that comes along when you’re falsely accused of a crime at work. Constant meetings and interviews can be exhausting as investigations can extend for weeks. It’s very obvious to feel your self-esteem as feuds from work can damage your personal life severely.
However, you can make it easier on yourself by leaning on to your close friends and family for support. You should keep your daily routine the way it was. Eat proper meals, sleep accordingly, make plans, and do everything you would normally.
If things get too stressful to handle, you can resort to therapy, meditation, or any peaceful activity that distracts you. Situations like these can often leave permanent scarring and even lead to depression or suicidal impulses, so it’s very crucial to keep your emotions and thoughts in check.
Returning to Work After Investigation
After all the hassle of investigation has been done, it’s most likely that you will be proven innocent. Nonetheless, there’s a good chance that your accuser might get terminated by your employer due to providing false charges particularly when it’s serious. However, sometimes your accuser may even be let go off the hook with a warning and allowed to go back to work.
We know how uncomfortable and uneasy it could feel to go back to work with the ones who accused you. All things considered; we should also keep in mind that at the end of the day we’re all humans. It’s very common for a co-worker who’s trying to keep all workplace policies and morale in check may end up accusing us of something unknowingly. It doesn’t always have to come out of malicious intent.
If you’re aware that your accuser and their acknowledged collaborators have something against you. You can always take a more mature approach and any sort of contact. Making sure you surround yourself with people you like working with.
If it’s still too unsettling for you to get adjusted, you can always ask your employer for a transfer, find a new job, etc. whatever choice that’s healthy for you.
So, can you get fired for false accusations? Yes you could but keeping your cool and taking the proper steps to prove your innocence can allow you to avoid being fired.
All things considered, it’s frustrating to know situations like these can arise in our workplace. However, it’s also helpful to consider the fact that it’s still a rare case to be falsely accused especially when you maintain your work ethics.