What type of actions can be taken against those employees who claim sexual harassment but have no basis and end the career, marraige, and reputation of someone who did nothing but IGNORE advances by the accuser? Where is the line for zero tolerance?
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1. What type of actions can be taken against those employees who claim sexual harassment but have no basis and end the career, marriage, and reputation of someone who did nothing but IGNORE advances by the accuser?
False accusations are difficult to deal with for several reasons. First, every sexual harassment policy needs to spell out clearly that retaliation against an employee filing a sexual harassment complaint is illegal and will not be tolerated. So, every employee has the right to file a complaint (unfortunately even the false accuser), and the organization needs to conduct investigations promptly and thoroughly. Second, it is difficult to pin point false accusations as it is still "she said" he said" and therefore difficult for the organization to actually decide who is telling the truth and who is not. However, the complaint must fit the description of sexual harassment and examples of "no tolerance" sexual harassment gestures listed in the policy. After the dispute, the best the organization can do is to try to resolve the conflict, and a follow up should be done with the employee to ensure that no one has suffered retaliation. Sometimes the complaint is dismissed if it does not fit the description, but the no retaliation clause for those who make a complaint still stands.
For the employee who feels wronged, however, she or he has the right to file a defamation claim. However, the employee should be careful and weigh the ramifications. It is very emotional, and as mentioned, it is ultimately a "he said, she said" scenario, which probably boils down to the credibility of the accuser ...
False accusations of sexual harassment are discussed. References are also provided to further validate the findings.