Q: I had a harassment claim filed against me by a coworker after she received a bad performance review.
I was told by the department supervisor that he was giving the employee a bad review with the intention of her quitting or her becoming hostile and leading to her termination. That was a breach of confidentiality on his part. The employee then accused a coworker and I for influencing the supervisor to give her a bad review. She then filed a harassment claim against the other coworker and I. I was terminated without having a chance to defend myself nor was I given an opportunity to hear the claims she made against me. I have proof that the supervisor is capable of breaching confidentiality but now my reputation is ruined and the HR won't hear what I have to say now or when I was terminated. What should I do.
A: You need to contact an attorney in your area who practices in the field of employment law as soon as possible. Explain your situation to him or her. Bring every document you have to the first appointment, including particularly any paycheck stubs or payroll information you have for the past year or two, performance reviews, and a copy of the employer's employee handbook. If you don't have a copy of the employee handbook, borrow one from someone who still works there. Don't write on any of the documents you bring. Do this immediately. State law permits you to get a copy of your personnel records for a limited time after you are no longer employed. Don't try getting the records on your own, work through a lawyer. I repeat, do this immediately. Do it today if possible.
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