September 15th, 2020
November Employment Law Bulletin
Sexual Harassment Allegation Leads to Employer Discrimination Against Accused
When greeted with allegations of sexual harassment, any employer is understandably concerned. When those allegations are against a man in a position of power, that concern tends to be elevated. Some hasty employers (but of course not our ELB readers) might even begin with a presumption that such archetypal sexual harassment allegations are likely true. Absent a contractual protection, an employee of a private employer is generally not due any measure of due process. And, an employee accused of harassment is generally unable to sue for retaliation or discrimination even if his or her termination was unjustified, even if it was the product of an overzealous zero tolerance policy or practice, and even if the employer’s investigation was flawed. However, if an employer’s flawed decision-making stemmed from its own presumptions about the protected class of the accused (e.g., it assumed a male in position of authority would be guilty of sexual harassment), then the accused employee might just have something…
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