Accused of a Felony by Your Employer
The employee files a defamation case -- who's being truthful?
Who’s telling the truth?
Our perceptions can prove accurate yet they are not entirely reliable.
Let’s take a look at a story in the news. I will focus less on the people involved and more on the situation because it could be a traumatic experience that a reader might have experienced or is experiencing now.
Imagine for a long moment of being accused of a felony, terminated, embarrassed and being unable to find new employment because you are regularly asked about your firing and the alleged crime.
How would you respond to such an event and “aftershock,” especially considering if you have not, at least as of now, been investigated, charged or arrested?
Or maybe the facts and evidence, as the employee’s former boss contends, will come forth. Uh oh. For now, the employee decided to file a defamation lawsuit. Why so?
Reportedly, people spread the word of the employee committing embezzlement, to the tune of $16 million. On top of that, that embezzlement was said to been from a pharmacy and a daycare. Not good.
Is this a case of corruption being discovered and the employer doing the responsible, ethical thing and mitigating damage by rightly firing a rogue employee? Or is it possibly a case of illegal employer conduct and character assassination of the employee on top of the shock, trauma and humiliation of the firing and it being reported in the media?
More on this in a moment but first, some details about this particular story.
A doctor, who was also a hospital CEO in Missouri, has filed a lawsuit, saying that he has “suffered, and continues to suffer, monetary and reputation damages because of the false statements and has been unable to secure employment following wrongful termination,” according to John Garlock of KTVO TV in Kirksville, Mo.
“There have been no investigations or charges filed against Dr. Tobler regarding any embezzlement or fraud of SCH or Medicare fraud,” the lawsuit states.
One “side” is going to emerge victorious in this conflict and the other side is going to look real bad and have to “eat” the public reputation hit and possible shame. In the end, it’s going to be an expensive loss for either the employee and his family or the employer and the leaders involved. Even if a settlement happens, that too could be damaging to the reputations of one of the sides.
Who is Telling the Truth?
Both sides appear confident, meaning one of them is overconfident. The facts and truth may or may not fall fully with one side (and at this point they have declared each other — at least in their actions — the enemy) but eventually one of them will, legally (if not morally) speaking, own more credibility, feel vindicated and declare legal and moral victory.
Employers can play dirty, this we know. Employees can be corrupt too. Both can be at fault. Yet one side could very well be clearly in the right and the other clearly in the wrong. It will be interesting to learn if this is more of a case of employer abuse or scapegoating, an unethical employee or some giant, unintended error (unlikely but possible I suppose) on behalf of the defendant or plaintiff.
For now, a doctor and former CEO is working as, believe it or not, a political talk show host on local radio and hospital leaders are preparing to defend themselves and their decision making in a lawsuit.
Someone’s in trouble.
Is it the accused or the employer attempting to make it look like the accused?
If you have ideas for stories, you can send them in with your initial impressions, even though I will also find plenty of these types of conflicts to write about for you.
Send them, if you wish, to Michael.Toebe@Reputation-Quality.com.
Reputation Consultant, Advisor and Communicator