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Sexual harassment is one of the widespread workplace issues in the US. Despite the emphasis on gender equality and universal safety for women, incidents are still on the rise. Apart from being common, another aspect that makes dealing with these incidents more challenging is the lack of awareness. Victims may not even realize that they are being harassed. And even if one knows, they may feel too conscious to raise a voice or simply don’t know their legal rights.
On the other hand, things can be tough for someone who is accused of wrongfully as well. There are incidents when women play the victim card and end up destroying the reputation of people who are not involved in the act. And most of the time, entrepreneurs and senior-level people end up facing such allegations. Hence, you must absolutely be aware of your rights so that you can take the requisite action if you are accused of sexual harassment even without being at fault. Here are the facts that you need to know in this context.
First things first, you need to understand what sexual harassment in the workplace is and how far does it apply in your case, whether the allegation is true or false. Essentially, it refers to unwelcome conduct which is of a sexual nature or is directed towards the gender of the victim.
The action creates an offensive or hostile work environment for the victim and also includes an adverse employment action against the victim, as it often happens when they bring such an incident to light. It is wrong to assume that such incidents happen only with women because men are at risk as well. Additionally, it is to be noted that people sometimes take advantage of the situation and implicate co-workers with false accusations.
Though sexual harassment may not be regarded as a crime in itself, some sexually harassing conduct and actions are criminal in nature. The reason is that sexual harassment includes many actions and some of these actions violate criminal statutes. Considering the complex nature of these cases, it is advisable that you consult an expert lawyer who practices in this area of law. You can go through fighterlaw.com to understand how sex crime defense works. After all, you must take things very seriously because a false (or even true) allegation can put your career at stake. Rape and sexual assault are definitely criminal while offensive physical contact, stalking, bullying, and pornography are some other actions that can have legal implications. If you have been involved in one of these actions, you can expect dire consequences. It is really important to know whether you are guilty to decide how the case is to be handled.
Sexual harassment allegations can destroy your career and life, which makes it important to have a defense strategy in place. Giving up is the worst thing to do because it is as good as admitting to the act. It is best to cooperate with any investigation but you should hire an expert to fight it out. Bear in mind that the burden to establish their innocence lies in the accused; so you must go the extra mile to hire the best lawyer for saving your reputation.
You can start by proving that the action does not come in the coverage of sex crime in the first place. Also, identifying any witnesses who can support your side of the story can be life-saving. Similarly, any statements or documentation that support your version can help. For example, if you can dig the record of the accuser and prove that she has made false claims earlier, the case can go in your favor. At the same time, your good record can also be favorable to your defense.
It is best to involve an attorney because they can help you to respond properly to the allegations or take over the mediation efforts to resolve the issue without taking it ahead for litigation. Further, they can also come up with the right way to deal with the finding of the investigation if you happen to be guilty without being aware. And most importantly, they can guide you about the penalties you may anticipate in such cases, such as having to issue an apology, participation in sensitivity training, or even termination. Whether you are innocent or guilty, you must hire an expert to handle the case and steer it in the right direction.
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