What to Do If You’re Accused of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Unfortunately, thousands of sexual harassment complaints are lodged each year across the country. Many of these are illegitimate claims that end up harming the reputation of the accused individual. Even if you believe that the claims made against you are not legitimate, you need to take them seriously by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney. A sexual harassment claim could evolve into criminal charges, and it could certainly influence your ability to stay at your current job.
Simply put, a successful sexual harassment claim can have major implications for your life, even if you know you are not guilty. Sometimes, these allegations are made on purpose in an attempt to destroy your character. Even so, you need to handle them professionally by reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer. How you handle the claims is just as important as the alleged incidents in your case, so make sure you react appropriately so as not to allow the situation to escalate.
Rights of the Accused
Being accused of sexual harassment is something that can happen to anyone, male or female. You need to have all the possible information about your rights, as well as the alleged incidents, in order to move forward effectively.
When sexual harassment complaints are received in the workplace, your job may be in jeopardy immediately. This is because the company might elect to simply terminate the working relationship with the accused person. In the eyes of some business owners or managers, this prevents the victim from being able to take the company to court; the business might face liabilities if the victim blames the company for inaction. Terminating an accused individual might seem like a rash reaction, but the company might feel as though this is the best way to protect their own interests going forward.
This being said, this does not mean an accused person has no rights. It is true, however, that you have limited rights and that it’s in your best interest to get legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
If the harassment involves a government official, an accused person could face class five felony charges. Even a first offense of this nature could lead to probation or jail time. With prior felony convictions on your record, the severity of the punishment may increase.
If the harassment incident involves someone who is not a government official, the accused person could still be facing misdemeanor charges. These carry punishments like probation, jail time, and fines.
Handling a False Claim
If you’ve been falsely accused of sexual harassment, you could face challenges like denied raises or promotions simply because of an allegation. You might also be terminated immediately if the employer determines this is the best course of action. This puts an accused employee at a serious disadvantage. If you’ve been accused, hiring a Mesa criminal defense attorney to help you understand your rights is the best course of action.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to www.mycriminaldefenselawyeraz.com, or contact an attorney in your area.