How do I defend myself if my colleagues are lying?

If you’re searching for articles online on “how to deal with a lying coworker,” it’s probably safe to say that you’re feeling uncomfortable at work right now.

Dealing with the stress of impending deadlines, challenging clients and tight budgets is hard enough. Add in a distrustful colleague, and the tension in the office can really boil over. We get it.

The problem with a lying coworker is that their dishonesty can impact your performance and your teams’ perception of you. In some extreme cases, lies can even jeopardize your position at work. In this article, we’ll go over some steps on how to effectively interact with these types of manipulative individuals. You’ll learn how to save yourself from the grief in the long run.

What happens when lies plague the workplace?

People fib at work for a variety of reasons, and sometimes, the lies are arbitrary. For example, your receptionist may let a waiting client know that an appointment has lasted a bit longer than anticipated. The truth is, you just stepped out to quickly grab a coffee. A small white lie to acknowledge the client is pretty harmless, and in this case, courteous and professional.

But what happens when your receptionist starts lying about more pressing matters? Perhaps she denies receiving an important email or fails to follow-up with a distraught client but says that she did. These types of lies can reflect on your professionalism and performance, and in the end, impact your experience at work.

Some of the more common outcomes we see in our Calgary employment law firm as a result of lying coworkers are:

  • Increased stress and anxiety among the affected employees
  • The tension between staff may lead to a hostile work environment
  • Impacted work performance and staff productivity

When a Lie Goes Too Far

Although a little white lie here and there may not be an issue, lies in the workplace can quickly escalate into something ugly. As employment lawyers, it irks us when we see cases of staff lying about serious issues like discrimination, harassment or bullying. You have the right to feel secure in the workplace. When a colleague’s conduct puts you in a vulnerable position, there is a chance that your human rights are being violated.

If you have experienced any of the scenarios below, you should seek help from one of our Calgary employment lawyers:

  • Your coworker makes unwanted advances but denies doing so when confronted by HR and the management team.
  • A colleague makes an inappropriate and discriminatory remark to you in private but dismisses the comment when approached about the situation.
  • A lie spread by a coworker about you and your performance results in dismissal without correct workplace investigation or disciplinary hearings.

Steps on How to Deal with a Lying Colleague

This type of ordeal at work can be extremely stressful, but try to remain calm, cool, and collected. If you retaliate, the situation can quickly escalate. You may not receive the resolution you deserve.

In the event that a coworker is lying to you, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Remain calm.

As infuriating as it is to witness someone tell a bold lie about you, there is no point in acting emotionally or impulsively to their claim.

2. Try to communicate with your colleague.

As previously mentioned, sometimes a lie is harmless. In some instances, people will distort the truth out of fear of negative repercussions, not because they are trying to be malicious.

If we use the receptionist example from earlier, merely asking her why she wasn’t honest about reading the email may have been an easy resolution. However, if your coworker acts defensively or continues to be dishonest about the situation, proceed to the next step.

3. Document everything.

Keep all emails, DM’s or texts that could help you present the situation to your HR team or employer. If your coworker is making offensive remarks in private and later denying them, write down the time and the comment. Take note of any pertinent details that could support your claim down the line.

4. Seek legal counsel from an employment lawyer.

If a coworker’s dishonesty is violating your human rights or has cost you your job, you have the right to find recourse. Our dedicated Calgary employment lawyers are ready to help.

Let’s restore your reputation and seek damages for the unfair situation you have found yourself in at the hands of your coworker.

Protect Yourself Against Lying Colleagues

Has a coworker’s lie put your performance into question? Is your job on the line because false complaints have been lodged against you? Is someone at work harassing you, but denies his or her misconduct after you report to a manager?

Trying to defend yourself against these allegations can be extremely overwhelming. It is crucial to understand that you are being mistreated, and you deserve to feel supported in the workplace when dealing with a colleague’s dishonesty.

Our Calgary employment lawyers have seen countless instances of employees’ dishonesty unravel into severe legal cases. We have the experience to identify this unlawful behavior, and we will help you protect yourself and your reputation in the workplace.

With empathy and compassion, we can help you defend yourself against lying colleagues and employers.

Let’s work together. Book a consultation with Osuji & Smith Lawyers