Even an unsupported sexual harassment accusation can have a devastating effect on your reputation, morale and even cause the work environment to be hostile, so it helps to know how to deal with such an eventuality. If you have been wrongly accused of sexual harassment at work, keep calm and follow these steps to defend yourself.
Provide a written statement
The first thing is to get your side of the story heard. Do this by writing an honest and detailed account of what happened so that the management can have a glimpse of your version of events, which will usually conflict with those of the other party. Since men and women may perceive sexual harassment differently, your statement could help clear up any misunderstandings and give your bosses valid information on which to base their investigation.
Being sincere and open about what could have gone wrong while attempting to understand the other party's account of what happened and offering an explanation could halt the matter before it gets out of hand. It is normal to feel angry and frustrated, especially if the allegations are fabricated and malicious, but always remember to keep calm and avoid any retaliatory action that could fuel to the other party's accusations or subject you to disciplinary action.
Provide an alibi
Talk to any colleagues who might have been at work during the time of the alleged harassment and ask them to speak up about what they saw. It could also help to provide an alibi of your whereabouts at the time of the harassment, and get documents or witnesses that can back it up. An irrefutable alibi or valid witness accounts could greatly strengthen your case and help the management see you have been falsely accused.
Your work record could also work in your favor. If you have a clean personnel file with no history of sexual misconduct, bring that up when talking to your manager or other investigators as proof that you are unlikely to act recklessly toward colleagues. In cases where there were no witnesses to the harassment, your reputation within the company could be your saving grace.
Book a consultation with an attorney
If mediation within the company fails to resolve the problem, you should take steps to protect yourself and your job by talking to a sexual harassment attorney from a renowned law firm. The attorney should help carry out more investigations by questioning management, fellow employees and your accuser, so as to get to the truth and build a strong defense.Share
27 August 2015
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