Conner LantzKeymasterAugust 28, 2023 at 6:29 amPost count: 4836
Ontario – what does a Manager do when a terminated employee (without cause) has accused the manager of “being out to get her” even though the poor performance has been documented over a three year period and is clear? The Manager\’s supervisor believes the employee but has not spoken to the Manager about the case. The Manager\’s supervisor has told his supervisor that the Manager is out to get the employee and has been “watching” the employee”. The employee had been going to the Manager”s supervisor and the supervisor never told the Manager prior to the termination. None of this is true but the Manager\’s reputation is being defamed. What is the next step for the Manager who is being defamed? A complete report on the employee had been submitted.Conner LantzKeymasterAugust 28, 2023 at 6:29 amPost count: 4836
If I’m reading this right, you’re saying that the fired employee has been going over the manager’s head with her complaints and that the person receiving those complaints, let’s call him/her Pat, believes them.
This sounds primarily like an internal matter of miscommunication and tangled lines of authority. I’d first suggest trying to work it out directly with Pat. The manager should speak to Pat and set the record straight–literally and figuratively. Bring along documentation of the employee’s performance issues and seek clarification from Pat about what exactly the employee alleged. Address those concerns directly. Keep careful notes of the meeting, what was said and how things were resolved, if they were. It might also be advisable for the manager to bring a third party to the meeting with Pat.
If the face to face with Pat doesn’t resolve the issue, the manager should probably escalate and go to HR and explain the situation. This way, the issue becomes an organizational problem and the manager gets a degree of protection, at least if the organization is run fairly.
If the problem still continues, the manager might want to talk to a lawyer and discuss the constructive dismissal options.
Defamation is a tricky issue and one of last resort. To prove it, the manager must show that Pat knowingly or recklessly made false statements about the manager. The manager would also have to prove that the defamatory remarks were published, read and caused damages to the manager. If the manager ends up getting fired or constructively dismissed for the remarks, defamation can be part of the wrongful dismissal suit. If the defamatory remarks are communicated to third parties outside the organization, it could be grounds for punitive or extraordinary damages.
Hope that helps. Sounds like a tricky situation. Glenn
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