Thursday, July 02, 2009

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm a victim of false allegation from my previous manager...and i will do the same what you mentioned to fight this allegation.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have done some of the same things. Exceeds Expection to Outstanding were my overall job performance on my evaluation, I presented emails from deans and other employers I worked with praising me of my professionalism in my work. I filed EEOC complaints and a lawsuit. I was terminated. After seven years of positive work with nothing negative in my file. Now, I am said to be incompetent, inefficient and negligent. Like you, why would you ask a person with these characteristics help another employee with her project. But, I was not able to complete my projects in a timely fashion. The University of Houston is using the Attorney General of Texas office to represent them. I have an email showing this. They are lying to cover up Retaliation. I am still looking for a lawyer. They act as if they are afraid to have any dealings wit U of H.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I discovered Mary’s blog, I have picked up a lot of tips. Recently I was given a false performance review. I pressed for examples & the situations but the writer of the review could not come up with any. I was also able to refute that one of the allegations was a lie because I keep work events in detail. I started keeping a log on work events when I realised I was excluded from projects & training. I complained to three separate bosses all in one go in writing because I was so infuriated. The outcome was that the lie allegation was taken out & the rest will be modified. It has happened recently, January, 2010. I am still waiting for the modified version. I have been off work since 24 January, 2010 due to depression.

I am also fighting for my share of training opportunities that I was excluded. Now the deal is that a plan will be drawn up showing when my turn is to have my training. The manager is very keen to have me return to work as soon as possible. I guess he fears for his own job security because if something happens to me due to my depression caused by the hostile work environment, the company would be in big trouble. My concern now is that they might wait for few months & find some pretext to fire me after my return to work.

In conclusion, I am grateful for Mary’s blog. The tips & encouragement help me stand up for my rights. Through the strength of my character I am reclaiming my dignity. Thanks Mary.

6:38 AM  

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