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My first written warning - Accused of something i did not do

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I have been in my current job for maybe 8 months now and am having problems with a few of my colleagues. As women do, they bitch, stir rumours etc. Now i have been reported for "innapropriate behaviour and swearing at a staff member". Let me tell you now that I did not swear at her, that I remained seating during the whole discussion and that i am not willing to take a written warning for something so ridiculous and untrue. It is alleged that i made these so called remarks during a discussion with a colleague. The 2 "witnesses" she has drawn in are known to all be close friends and also known to be "stirrers" when it comes to gossip.


I have stated during the informal meeting that i had with my manager that I did not swear. I have repeated this so many times. Though i have also said that I would apologize to any colleagues who felt that I was inappropriate. My formal meeting is next week. Also, i did ask why the colleague wasn't under investigation when she too had raised her voice to me.


The answer i got was "because she didn't raise her voice or swear at you". So clearly they are taking the side of my colleague and are showing no impartiality at all.

I am not part of a union and I have left it far too late to join to be eligible to use the legal help that is on offer. Can someone please tell me how to deal with this? It is blatant favouritism directed clearly at my colleague as they are simply trusting her word over mine. I have never received a warning in any of my previous jobs and i do not intend to receive and accept this one.


Also, is it true that a written warning "expires" after a certain period? e.g. 6 months

Edited by citizenB
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As women do, they bitch, stir rumours etc.


I'd love to help but I'm only a woman and can't guarantee not to bitch or stir while giving advice.

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Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi Alexa24,


well, you haven't got a written warning yet so you may be worrying about something that still might not happen.


You should be allowed to take someone to sit with you in the hearing if you so wish (check your employer's internal disciplinary procedures).


Written warnings should only sit on a employee's record for a number of months dependant on the employer's internal policies (3 or 6 months perhaps) - though I seem to remember final written warnings sitting on an employee's record for a year at a previous employer I was working for; then they should expire.


Don't worry too much - it is a storm in a teacup compared to what some people on here are going through. If you are unhappy with the job and the people (men bitch a lot too you know!) you can always start looking around for something else.


All the best.

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Sounds to me like a "they're getting over confident, lets make an example of this person and put them back in their place". It's usually because your making a "superior" feel insecure.


I've been in these sorts of situations.....


Example - I was accused of being consistently late, but they didn't know i'd set up my work PC to create a time log every time I turned it on, I produced this log at the disciplinary hearing, i'd been late (by no more than 6 minutes) precisely 3 times in 4 years.


Result? I still got a verbal warning on record and 2 months later my PC was taken away under the pretence that I no longer needed my own personal PC.


I'm the sort of person that people think they can mess with, they mistake my quiet nature for stupidity, but when they do they find I bite REALLY hard. They think they're winning, they think they can make stuff stick, but all they're really doing is digging a great big hole for themselves :)

Edited by Strider440
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well normally employers shy away from one word against another but her witnesses would easily tip that see-saw if they did actually witness, or state to witness the conversation


Your pretty much at the mercy of your employer, they do not need to prove you did exactly what they said, just have a reasonable belief you did, with 8 months in and 16 to go before you accrue any useful employment rights you could be finished at their whim, as far as warnings , yes they are time limited but they can bring them up after the event if they are relevant to the new accusation (e.g. you get accused of mouthing off again)


Head, down, yes sir no sir for at least until you hit two years.


As far as your office conduct, do not do a single further thing which could lead to one of your workmates accusing you again, be a paragon of virtue and professionalism as this is the only guarantee that you will avoid any further action.


We all say things in the office at times others may not like, be it tone, content or body language, you may well be able to have a normal conversation, others you work with may simply be a "special snowflake" and if they are you will usually be the bad guy in the situation once the tears start and they complain.


I'm full time, the chances of me being disciplined are low without my employer working wonders but it doesn't mean that a couple of years ago when i was in the exact same situation i didn't just get my rear chewed off well and truly by my boss but that i also had to put on an oscar like performance in my regret and sadness that i upset my workmate. I took my licks because i was furious that i had been stupid enough to give the person the ammo to nail me with, these days not a single word which could upset them is uttered.


Why, because unwanted/abusive/offensive type conduct is usually viewed through the eyes of the victim, even if in the real world they would be told to grow a backbone, this is the way things are in the workplace these days and 95% of the time they should be as well. That said if my workmate ever complains again the counter case i have stored from witnessed comments and emails sent to all from her about me in a very unprofessional and disparaging way will be presented with a Cheshire cat smile from me.



Mainly because you have only 8 months i'd advise taking it on the chin although maintaining that your conduct was not as accused. Something along the lines if you are warned of "i just want to put it behind me even though i disagree completely " would be my line of response.


As far as union help, any rep who went to help a non member when i managed them without my permission would be removed as a rep, don't expect too much help and what is to say the others are not their members meaning you will also have the union against you

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