I am in need for some serious advice.
I will try to keep the story as short and as concise as possible
Basically I manage a take away shop with around 20 employees. I have become very fond of one of the girls that works there, who is also in a position of management (below me,I am her boss).
I have done things like indirectly telling her I like her. Giving her hugs. Getting her a small present when I am on holiday. She is a friendly type of girl also and likes to mess around and
She is a lot younger than me,by around 10'years, and is in her late teens.
It seems that, without my knowledge, everything that has been happening between us, she has been telling other colleagues at work. The things I have been texting her, what I have been saying (nothing overtly sexual or anything, just simple things during the course of text conversation like telling her I think she is a nice girl..that kind of thing).
I have never come out and told her directly that I like her or want anything more. I thought everything we talk about would remain private but I guess this kind of shows her immaturity.
Now this is where the story gets interesting..
There is another girl there, who is a friend of hers. She has been taking in everything that has been going on, but has never mentioned anything about it. Until now, when I asked her to do some cleaning in the store (which is normal) and she refused based on the fact that she has never been asked to clean before and it is 'not in her job description'. This set her off and she started telling me how ****ed off she was with everything and how she was going to complain to someone higher than me. She accused me of being a little bit 'pervy', and that she knows everything that has been going on. She thinks I am abusing my position and not drawing the boundaries as someone who is in charge. She is the same age as the other girl.
I think part of the problem here is perhaps her jealousy, the fact that she hasn't received this much attention from me. I don't know. She is a little bit jealous that the other girl has progressed and she hasn't but to be honest her work standards are no where near the other girls.
So my question:
1- can she make a complaint about me based on what she has heard I have said to this other girl or the fact that I have given her hugs? Can she complain on someone else's behalf? Bearing in mind the girl in question has never mentioned anything and we still have a great working relationship..?
She was like I don't think this is appropriate behaviour for a person in charge and I feel you are crossing boundaries..but what's it to her? I told her that if I made this other girl feel so uncomfortable, then why has she never complained to me about it?
2 - what do you do when someone *believes* they are being mistreated, even though you know for sure you are not mis treating them, but it is their bad behaviour that is causing you to take action and reprimand them?
People seem to play the "I am being discriminated against" far too easily these days, even when there is no grounds for it.. She was saying things like "you don't like me, you never have anything good to say about me, you always criticise me''..
And then she was like "it's the way you looked at me when you asked me to clean, the way you spoke to me..like I am a piece of s*%#$."....
I definitely didnt do either of those things..i am very careful about how I talk to people..
How do you tacle the 'I am being dicriminated against' argument..
3 - she is threatening to go to my boss to "tell him everything that has been going on" ..as potentially she knows this will be bad news for me.. I am wondering where I stand legally.. Is there anything that could potentially get me in trouble here bearing in mind she hasn't made anything official yet?
I dont know to act now..
4 - how do you act when the girl in question is friendly in nature.. I.e, she keeps hitting me with things, play fighting.. Stuff like that..
Any advice you can give me would be really appreciated... I am worried about my reputation and position..