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How to Handle a False Accusation at Work

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If you face a false accusation at work, you may wonder how to handle the situation. A false accusation is an untrue statement made by another employee or individual that relates to your job. For example, an employee may make a false accusation regarding a sexual harassment claim, or may accuse you of stealing supplies or information from the company. Depending on the severity of the claim, it may become necessary to take legal action against the untruthful individual.

Confront the false accusation by presenting evidence to dispel the untruthful statement. For example, if you face a false accusation involving sexual harassment, ask other individuals who were present when the alleged sexual harassment occurred to speak with your supervisor or boss about what they witnessed. In many scenarios, ignoring the false accusation will cause the situation to become worse.

Remain calm. One of the worst things you can do upon hearing a false accusation is to get upset and lose your temper. Remember, it is the company’s job to investigate all rumors of misconduct for the well-being of the company. In addition, scenarios involving false accusations are very common.

Consult the company’s handbook to review the company’s policies and procedures regarding an investigation of a false accusation. There may be tasks the company would like you to perform to challenge the accusation. For example, the company may ask you to compile all of your old emails or create a timeline of your version of events.

Contact a lawyer and file a lawsuit, if necessary. In addition, your company may have an attorney on staff that can help mediate the situation. However, if the individual knowingly and recklessly made the false accusation against you, you may be able to sue him for defamation.


Elizabeth Stock began writing professionally in 2010. Before pursuing a career as a freelance writer, Stock was an editor and note writer for the "Thomas Jefferson Law Review" while attending Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. Stock recently graduated magna cum laude from Thomas Jefferson earning a Juris Doctor.