Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tips for Fighting False Allegations About Your Job Performance

When companies, managers, etc. decide to target an employee, particularly one with a positive reputation and strong work ethic, one of the first things they often do is to begin making sudden and extremely strong criticisms of that person’s job performance. So, a person that is respected and valued by their colleagues, may suddenly find their supervisor claiming they have a bad reputation around the company, that no one wants to work with them, and that their job performance has become a significant issue and liability for the company.

I’ve had this tactic used against me and have seen it used against other Black employees. In one case, a Black male was complaining about discrimination and sexual harassment, in another case, a Black manager was the victim of retaliation for complaining about racially insensitive remarks made by a White manager, and, in my case, I participated (truthfully) in both internal and external investigations about these race-related issues. So, retaliation—among other things—was the company’s response to me, when I came up for a promised promotion.

I’d like to give you some quick tips on dealing with false attempts to slander your reputation, regarding your work ethic. These things worked well for me.

--Quote from performance evaluations. Use all relevant comments about your job performance that show you have a pattern of successfully and professionally performing your duties. Don’t forget to pull out quotes that speak to your personality/temperament at work. For instance, you could quote from a recent performance review where you are credited with being patient and flexible, which contradicts a sudden and false accusation that you are rigid and demanding.

--Print up copies of emails or cards that speak to your job performance, especially kudos from clients. This will also demonstrate you have a pattern of successfully and professionally performing your duties and that staff are aware of your positive contributions to your projects/assignments.

--Get signed statements from coworkers that show you are successfully performing your duties. If possible, get your coworkers to have the statements notarized.

--Print up requests for you to work with other staff – why would you be invited onto projects if it were known that you were underperforming?

--Ask specific questions about all blanket statements about your job performance. For instance, do not let someone accuse you of being rude without asking for examples and situations where you’ve supposedly shown this behavior.

--If someone is suggesting you have a pattern of exhibiting poor behavior or poor performance, ask (in writing) why this issue is just being brought to your attention and why you were not offered any suggestions for improving your performance. Remember, if you are not told of performance issues, and are, therefore, led to believe that there are no issues, you can’t accurately gauge your performance and live up to the expectations of your position. So, the onus for the alleged issue being a so-called continuing problem is on your supervisor/manager because they did not inform you of any alleged problems at work.

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Blogger Older & Wiser said...

As an HR Generalist with many years of experience in the field, your points are well taken. However, my experience tells me that you could substitute your primary employee of reference (African American / Black) for anyone of color or gender or religion, etc who find themselves in similar circumstances. On the other hand, I do agree that your approach and your tips are relevant and could be helpful in the situations you stated.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Randy Couron said...

I just wanted to tell you that I very much appreciated the suggestions offered here. Though I am "white" I have had problems recently with my employer because of my religious convictions. I am a Sabbath-keeper...meaning I will not work on Saturday (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset). Since the company "had issues from the start with me" because I did not want to work "any shift" & be available 24-7 this inhibited me from being able to start out with a 'good impression'. Being the only Christian in my work place...other employees have asked me questions about my religion - only later to hold it against me. When our client wasn't so tactful in letting the other's know he trusted me more than them & actually enjoyed his interactions with me more they said it's because he has a "BAD crush". The owner showed up at my client's house (unannounced) saying "we wanted to be here during a time where she was not so she couldn't put her two sense in. We want to know if she has been "brainwashing" you. At this point... I was suspended from work because of an error I made (which WAS my mistake) but because "it hasn't worked out from the start" a follow up meeting has been arranged & I believe they are going to try to fire me. My client has been terribly upset about this & is considering disassociating with the company all together because of this - even though it is his family's business (Aunt is the owner). I hope that you will keep me in your prayers, regarding this situation.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a female friend with a curious problem. She is new in her job and has been perceived as hard working and honest by all. An influential co-worker is targetting her as she is jealous of my friend. The coworker is a divorcee and she cannot bear to see my friend as a happily married woman. Now she appears normal to everyone at face value but if you get to know her closely you can see that she is very sly and is extremely capable of such acts. But by the time people find out her true nature, my friend may have already lost her job. This jealous wwoman's name is Saby John. If you ever come across a Saby John, make sure that she is not the same one as she targets all happy people including children

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Anonymous,

I am shocked to read what you said as I know a Saby John, a divorcee. She is known to try to charm men- but she actually hates men. Once she gets them to be her friend, she tries to frame them for sexual harrassment or sometimes less serious charges- as long as the person is mentally very disturbed. Is Saby John from Bangalore? The one I am talking about is/was from IISc. She hated her boss who is such a respectable man. Please do let me know Mr. anonymous - if you are talking of the same Saby John

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish i read your post few months ago. I was allegedly removed from a very well known company on the basis of Sexual Harassment. The boss and the chairman's son framed me. They called me a failure. I just freeze if i think of the moment. Am very angry with what they did to me. But i can’t fight back. In India, these giant companies have political back-up. They can do anything anywhere anytime. For just having asked for the list of things that I did, he threatened me saying he knows what he should do if i seek a lawyer. Am scared to even look for another job. Thought of killing myself but i couldn’t coz of my family. Am the only source of income for them. Am just very angry. Wish i read your post few months ago. I could have handled it well without meeting this part of my life.

3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lost my job after young jealous coworkers who hated working but slept under their desks all day hiding out and took turns leaving early, signing out for each other, made false allegations saying I caused a hostile workplace. I am devasted, do not know whether I am going on from here. I worked so hard, finally found stability after fighting Lyme Disease, I appealed termination but know it is useless. This has devastated my whole family, my elderly parents having to help me as much as possible. I do not understand how management can get away with this. It's at DC Superior Court. They took my life from me.

12:41 PM  
Blogger saji john said...

why haven't my comments been published on your blog?

8:29 AM  
Blogger saji john said...

My sister Saby John's name was mentioned by 2 anonymous persons on your blog. They are obviously using this blog to try and tarnish the name of my sister, Saby John.My sister is a popular teacher in a reputed Engineering college and is passionate about teaching students because she believes that through her teaching, she could try and contribute to making the world a better place.It is obvious that the anonymous coments are those of somedisgruntled and jealous colleague who is envious of my sister's reputation and success. This person is a highly malicious, mischievous and petty individual as is evident from the derogatory personal comments made about my sis. .As if being a Divorcee is a crime! which age are these donkeys living in?!They also said that my sister hated her Boss at IISc!The truth of the matter is that my sister has great affection and respect for her Boss at IISc.My sister has been labelled a Man Hater by these anonymous cowards.The Truth is that my sister has healthy relationships with her colleagues irrespective of their gender or marital status.The name of the illness these anonymous commentors are suffering from is Jealousy.Unfortunately there is no treatment for this disease.And Yes. I wish frustrated married people would stop discriminating against Divorcees at work places.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous U. Mahesh Prabhu said...

Hello there I'm an accredited journalist and I am sincerely trying my best to do an expose on Saby John. I have two cases where she's involved in screwing happiness of families besides trying to tarnish their image - one almost successfuly. I have a good case against her... but if you could send across some more inputs it'll be truly wonderful. You name will be kept secret for all good reasons. Send in your emails to

12:58 PM  
Blogger DiscipleTube1 said...

I was recently falsely accused of calling two black employees the "N" word after complaining about them taking breaks extremely longer than what we are allowed for every break 2 days in a row. Even though I didn't get into any trouble it still has damaged my reputation. I have had a very close black friend at work tell me he knows they're trying to get me fired. How do I go about this?

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well... I would like to share with all here that racism is not limited to all with dark skin as I am white skinned "disgustingly pale" from Spain and the Irish individual over me hates me while he fears all blacks workers under him for fear of the(NAACP)as Hispanics have nothing to back them he gets away with mistreating me in a subversive way. If I were to tell on him HR would laugh at me.

9:01 AM  

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