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How to Defend Yourself Against a False Sexual Harassment Charge

Defending yourself against a false sexual harassment charge made in the workplace can be an expensive and complicated process. Protect yourself by having the law on your side.


  • Step 1: Go to the American Bar Association site Go to the American Bar Association website for the legal definition of 2 types of sexual harassment in the workplace: quid pro quo, in which a manager threatens job consequences unless the employee assumes certain sexual behaviors, and hostile environment, in which comments regarding sexuality interfere with an employee being able to do their job.
  • TIP: A single incident of a sexual advance may not be classified as sexual harassment if it's not accompanied by a work-related threat.
  • Step 2: Search the Bar Association database Search the Bar Association's Lawyer Locator for members practicing in your area with sexual harassment expertise. Interview lawyers and hire the one you think will best be able to handle your case.
  • Step 3: Know defense options for employers Know your defense options if you're an employer, and an employee is making a case against both the person they're accusing of harassment and your company. If a charge is brought against a supervisor, immediately launch a full investigation -- document all evidence.
  • TIP: Have your investigation reviewed by an attorney or human resources professional.
  • Step 4: Know defense options for co-workers Know your defense options if charges are made by a coworker. Contact your union rep or a company HR pro. Ask for mediation to settle out of court.
  • Step 5: File a lawsuit against your accuser File a defamation lawsuit against your accuser. Know that few such cases prevail in court. Most lawyers won't take these cases on a full-contingency basis.
  • Step 6: Keep cool Cooperate with your company's investigation process, and avoid any perception of retaliation against your accuser. Above all, keep a cool head and keep tabs on how the investigation is progressing. Your good behavior will help to clear your name.
  • FACT: In 2005, 2 former employees sued The Gorilla Foundation for $1 million, claiming their boss ordered them to bare their breasts to a gorilla in captivity in order to bond with her.

You Will Need

  • Lawyer
  • HR professional
  • Cooperation
  • Calm behavior

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