How should I handle situation?

I have been working at my kob for over 6 years now and have become the department head. i have about 12 people under me and everything has been wonderful. We are the number one team in the company and our own CEO came to us and said that if we could be copied than he never would have to worry about anything. Here lies the problem.

There are some very jealous co-workers that have taken to lashing out at my team. There was recently a altercation outside of work. One of my best guys was accused of calling someone else a racist. It was said there was some banter and he called another co-worker a n----r. I find it hard to believe because he is married to a black woman. He keeps his personal life out of work and is really upset. The man he supposedly called that is notorius for starting trouble. He came into my office and said if he was not put on the team he would contact a lawyer. I told him I would not be bullied and flat out said no. Unfortunatly he did call a lawyer.

Now there is a big mess and no one knows what to do. The accused has come to me a couple times and said it has hurt him professionally and personally. His wife believes him and stands behind him but co-workers have stopped talking to him and some have gone as far as placing white hoods on his car. My boss has told me he wants nothing to do with this. It is my problem and my problem alone.

Here is my question....Should I set up a meeting with the accuser and his lawyer and tell them about the accused personal life and see if he backs down or should I wait for court. Either way i have made the business decison and just gave them both temporary leave(I gave the accused with pay because I personally don't believe it and the accuser nothing). Everyone just wants me to fire the accuser but everyone that wats him fired is white. Everyone that wants him to stay is black and has caused a major strife in the office. I am from NH and racism really isn't a problem up there. So alot of people just blow me off and say" You just don't understand what it's like for a black person in the South."

My question to the world is...What would you do?

By Fan4lif 9 years ago :: Workplace/Co-workers
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