What to Do When Falsely Accused of Harassment
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What Should I Do if I Have Been Falsely Accused of Harassment?
Harassment in the workplace is one of the more common types of employment lawsuits. Harassment can occur between an employer and an employee, between employees, or with potential candidates for employment. However, false accusations of harassment can raise many problems, and can waste a significant amount of time and resources.
If you’ve been falsely accused of harassment, you should understand a few points:
- While employers can’t fire employees for filing a harassment suit, it is illegal to file a false sexual harassment claim.
- A sexual harassment claim is false when the facts or witness testimony prove contrary to the claims of the "victim."
- Harassment claims that are filed solely for the purpose of pestering, annoying, or discriminating against another person are not valid, and likely won’t be accepted by the court.
Thus, it is generally improper to fire an employer who files a harassment suit against you. It is much safer on your part to obtain your own legal representation, and complete the investigation process, especially if the facts are overwhelmingly in your favor.
Should I Contact Human Resources or File a Lawsuit?
In many cases, human resources can help resolve a false harassment claim. However, in some cases, a false harassment claim can actually lead to damages. For instance, the person being accused of harassment may lose wages, promotions, or even their job due to a false claim. In such cases, it may be necessary to take legal action in order to recover a damages award or other legal remedy for the losses.
You should note that filing a harassment claim with a government agency is often required before the plaintiff can file a private lawsuit. Thus, it may be necessary to complete the steps required by the government investigation before you can file suit. If you are unsure, you may wish to contact a lawyer for advice on how to respond to an investigation.
How Should I Prepare to Defend Against a Harassment Claim?
If you believe that you may be facing a harassment claim, you may wish to begin gather evidence such as: witness statements and accounts; any photo, video, or audio evidence that might prove your evidence; and any written documents or correspondences that might be relevant to your claim.
You should also understand that a person can actually face legal or criminal consequences for filing a false or frivolous harassment claim. If you believe the harassment claim is completely without grounds, you may wish to inform a lawyer of the situation immediately.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with a False Harassment Issue?
Understanding what to do when falsely accused of harassment can sometimes be difficult to do. You may wish to hire a lawyer in your area if you feel that you might be facing legal action related to harassment. Your attorney can provide you with legal guidance and representation in court, and can also help determine your options in terms of legal remedies.
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Last Modified: 04-23-2014 11:04 AM PDT
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