Unwarranted complaint by employee through HR
Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:36 AM
Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:54 AM
One doesn't "press charges" through one's HR department, though one can complain. I gather your company and her company do business together (otherwise, it doesn't make sense at all).
"I would like to know if I have a valid claim against the accuser for pushing forward a photo which was not intended for her?"
Sorry, it's a bit unclear what you mean by "pushing forward" but once you sent something to her, that doesn't mean she's not free to show it to someone else because she feels (and all those unprompted apologies didn't help much) that you didn't really do it by accident.
"I am interested in a possible defamation claim."
Uhm, ok. Why? You haven't indicated anything in your post to show that defamation's occurred.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:49 PM
The person who recived the photo in error has pressed charges through her HR department which has contacted with my employer with a formal harrassment claim.
First of all, the notion of "press[ing] charges through her HR department" makes no sense at all. The term "press charges" typically refers to the filing of criminal charges, and criminal charges can only be filed by a local state or county prosecutor (sometimes called a district attorney or state's attorney). Second, what does this have to do with your employer or the recipient's employer? It appears obvious that you and this person don't work together. Is she someone you know (i.e., did you send it to the wrong person on your contact list as opposed to a completely random person)? If so, do you know her because of business dealings? Third, what does "formal harassment claim" mean? What you did may have been careless or even stupid, but it wasn't "harassment" by any reasonable definition of that term.
I would like to know if I have a valid claim against the accuser for pushing forward a photo which was not intended for her?
Not sure what you mean by "pushing forward." However, when you sent this photo to her, you lost all control over it. I suppose, if you took the photo, you might have a copyright infringement claim if she were to publish it (e.g., by putting it online), but I can't even conceive what other sort of claim you might think you have.
I am interested in a possible defamation claim.
Generally best not to use terms when you clearly don't know what they mean. You aren't even in the right ballpark here, and I would encourage you to google the term to get an idea of what it means. In the meantime, I suggest you stop blaming the victim for the consequences of your own carelessness and that you think long and hard (no pun intended) before doing something like this again.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:05 PM
The person who has complained is a vendor for my employer, and has forwarded the photo and is claiming harassment. As of today, my employer has descided to hold off on any final descisions until after the holiday break, but the threat of termination was implied. My fear is that this will become a bigger issue than it realy is, and I may lose my reputation and job, due the misleading harassment claim. To a certain extent, the vendor and I have crossed paths before with very negative results, and I feel that this is simply payback. My ultimate question is, if I am terminated over this claim, knowing that the photo was not intended for the person who received it, do I have a case against the vendor employee, and/or the vendor itself, for making such a big deal out of an electronic error? My inexperienced thoughts suggest possible undue stress and loss of employment over a simple mistake. I understand the gravity of this issue.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:58 PM
No. Ultimately, the question is did you send the photo and did she receive it from you. She was within her rights to complain after receiving the photo and your claim that it was sent in error, does not negate the fact that you sent it to her.
Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:02 AM
I don't expect any other answers, I am just venting my frustration over the lack of common sence that exsists in corporate America! That said, perhaps it is proof that people who seek employment in HR are desireous of confidense provided by power? I have not yet met an HR person who uses common sense first and judges situations as carefully as possible. Again, thank you all. I will now crawl away with my dirty photo, and hurl my crappy phone in the river!
Posted 27 December 2012 - 07:20 AM
My ultimate question is, if I am terminated over this claim, knowing that the photo was not intended for the person who received it, do I have a case against the vendor employee, and/or the vendor itself, for making such a big deal out of an electronic error?
It is up to others to decide for themselves how "big" of an issue this is, and not everyone is required to share your view of the situation. While you didn't clearly say so, it seems as though this was a situation in which you forwarded this image to a person on your contact list other than the person for whom it was intended. While this may have been an unintended mistake, it was careless and irresponsible of you, and you have no one but yourself to blame for this. Perhaps the unintended nature of this and the fact that it happened only once will cause your employer to take no action, but that's entirely within your employer's discretion.
Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:05 PM
YOU may know the photo wasn't intended for her, but there's no way on Earth to prove that. Be objective.
"... do I have a case against the vendor employee, and/or the vendor itself, for making such a big deal out of an electronic error?"
I don't see that, sorry, even if you can establish that she hates your guts. While a single incident doesn't a lawsuit make, your employer's free to decide they don't want to take any chances and that doing nothing will be a bad idea. Of course, they aren't obligated to discipline you or even fire you, but ... it's up to them.
Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:10 PM
As for your own employer, I agree that your employer is free to do nothing or to fire you. Unfortunately, you have given your employer good reason to question your judgment and/or your attention to detail. You were careless about this. What else might you be careless about? What happens if you carelessly send something else to a more important business contact?
Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:44 AM
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