You are a middle-level manager in a public health department. One of your closest friends, Janie, is an RN under your span of control. Today, Janie calls and tells you that she injured her back yesterday during a home visit after she slipped on a wet front porch. She said that the home owners were unaware that she fell and that no one witnessed the accident. She has just returned from visiting her doctor who advises 6 weeks of bed rest. She requests that you initiate the paperwork for workers' compensation and disability because she has no sick days left.
Shortly after your telephone conversation with Janie, you take a brief coffee break in the lounge. You overhear a conversation between Jon and Lacey, two additional staff members in your department. Jon says that he and Janie were water skiing last night, and she took a terrible fall and hurt her back. He planned to call her to see how she was feeling.
You initially feel hurt and betrayed by Janie because you believe that she has lied to you. You want to call Janie and confront her. You want to deny her request for workers' compensation and disability. You are angry that she has placed you in this position. You are also aware that proving Janie's injury is not work related may be difficult.
How should you proceed? What are the political ramifications if this incident is not handled properly? How should you use your power and authority when dealing with this problem?