On the front page of today's newspaper, I was reading an article about Matt Lauer of the Today Show, who was the latest well-known man fired for sex harassment. Who will it be tomorrow? No doubt, Human Resource professionals are furiously investigating these claims on a daily basis.
I have handled sex harassment cases for many years and I have represented men and women who were harassed, and I have also represented the alleged harasser.
There was a time where this Houston Employment Lawyer would send my female clients for a polygraph exam, if the harasser was denying that he did any of the things he was accused of. Nowadays, that seems unnecessary, as employers and their Human Resources departments are all jumping on the bandwagon of weeding-out harassers immediately. And, of course, we live in different times where there is typically compelling electronic evidence such as text messages, instant messages, emails, etc.
I met with a potential client last week who lost his job because a co-worker said he touched her inappropriately. The man professed his innocence, yet he was terminated the same day.
It seems that many employers are taking a zero tolerance view and that if anyone complains about sex harassment, the alleged harasser will be quickly fired.
Earlier this year, I got to meet the woman who wrote the book on sex harassment, Gretchen Carlson, formerly of Fox News. In her book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, she gives encouragement to women who are victims of sex harassment.
The federal laws that deal with sex harassment come from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and they allow victims of sex harassment to bring legal claims in court, after they first complain to the EEOC. Many of these cases are settled out of court and confidentiality agreements prevent victims from discussing the facts.
At our Houston employment lawyer firm and also at our Miami employment lawyer firm, we represent victims of sex harassment, as well as victims of false harassment claims.
For further information, I can be reached at [email protected] or 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800.