My Area Manager arrived at my store and requested to speak with me stating he had some questions. He informed me that he would need an HR representative on speakerphone with us. I complied that would be fine. I was then accused of both selling and smoking marijuana on multiple dates stating that an associate reported it to be true and factual to our corporate office. I told them the information was completely false and I was appalled at such accusations and would gladly take a drug screening right then. I was told that the investigation would be ongoing and to not discuss the information with anyone. I then asked if I should seek legal counsel at this point considering a drug charge is being stated against me. They told me "no, keep everything quiet so as not to disrupt their investigation." When I asked of the accusatory party I was informed the information couldn't be provided.
-**After note: a month ago my General Manager spoke to me and informed me that an associate I managed came to her and stated that I accused them of working under the influence, which again was also entirely false. I told her this at the time and she told me to be careful.
It’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney to determine what all the facts are, what your goals are and what can legally be accomplished.
The answer provided is for general information purposes and cannot be relied upon. In order to provide legal advice, one must engage with a live attorney; this answer does not create such attorney-client relationship.
Internal investigations of employee conduct are often based on rumor falsity or half truths
Your boss is not your lawyer. Talk to a lawyer to help avoid any misunderstandings, adverse employment actions, or event possible criminal charges before talking with anyone else from the company.
This post is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, nor should the information contained therein be considered as legal advice. Each case is unique, and posters should seek independent counsel to handle their legal problems. This post is merely intended to be educational in nature. I am not your attorney, nor do I agree to appear in court for you by posting this information.
While it does seem that the associate defamed you, the issue you have in your case is that you don't seem to have any damages. It does not sound like you lost your job, your wages were reduced, or that you were even required to undergo any kind of additional hassle that cost you significant time or money (no lost opportunities). In short, while you may have grounds to sue the associate, you won't win much, if anything. The legal fees involved would cost far more than any award that you may win. You may want to consult an attorney experienced with defamation cases to assess the strength of your case and whether it may be worth pursuing.
This answer provides general advice and should not be understood as to create an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and the responding attorney.
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