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Wrongfully accused of sexual harassment?

New York, NY |
Filed under: Sexual harassment

My husband was just falsely accused of sexual harassment by a woman who resigned from his firm (coincidentally because she said she was sexually harassed by someone else at the firm). My husband and the rest of the department had taken her out to lunch then drinks (at her suggestion) after she resigned.

Now she has come back to the firm saying that my husband put his arm around her wwhen everyone was at the bar and thus she was sexually harassed. Does she have the right to come back after she resigned to complain to her previous firm's HR dept? She was no longer an employee at that point. Is my husband's company still liable for her accusation?

HR is now grilling a couple of people who were at the going away party seeing if their stories match my husband's and whether they saw his arm around her. Not sure why they're ignoring the fact that the reason why she resigned was because she accused some other employee of sexual harassment (he had asked her out on dates and she went!). She gave up her work badges and security passes midday that day before going to the lunch. Not sure when she was no longer considered an employee - is it when she actually walks out the door and gives up her badges, end of the day? Since everyone brought her out during a workday, was she still considered an employee?

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Attorney answers 1


I believe the real issue is whether the complained conduct arises to 'sexual harassment'- the mere act alone does not constitute it under well established law. Did your husband have a friendship with this former employee? Was alcohol drunk? Were the attendees at this gathering drinking? Nevertheless, the real issue is whether your husband's employer considers your husband's behavior inappropriate.



Very nice answer Gerry. :) There are still questions to consider. :)

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