Thank you. I have heard from 2 non experts 2 conflicting answers. 1 being deny deny deny and the other being admit and look to limit damages. If I request that counsel review the documents I got Saturday is that being perceived as delaying or not cooperating? Will they or can they legally hold that against me?
A: First, Cal. Labor Code 2922 permits the employer to terminate your employment "at will:" at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. The only reason why you are not already out the door right now, is because the employer views the threat of legal action imminent or already commenced.
Nothing you say or do going forward is going to save your job, if the employer decides that your more expensive than you're worth.
If you have no already sat for an investigation, and no one from the employer has formally asked you any questions about this matter, then denial is a good plan. I don't believe that it will matter, one way or the other, as far as your continuing employment is concerned, but if you deny what occurred, and the coworker cannot prove that you did or said anything, then the coworker will lose the lawsuit, or it will go off the rails early, with minimal economic damage to the employer.
If there is independent evidence that you committed any of the alleged bad acts, then I would still deny everything, because, once again, Labor Code 2922 permits the employer to terminate you, either way. So, unless you can get that indemnity agreement in writing, you don't have any protection from your employer, no matter how you answer the questions.
Lastly if the accuser has a history of sexual talk and conversations should I bring that in to play in my statement.
A: Well, if I were representing you, your statement would be: "My client respectfully XXXXX XXXXX and every allegation of the complaining worker, and that is all we have to say on the matter -- unless you are prepared to formally agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless, my client from any liability connected to this incident."
This could get you walked out the door immediately. But, since you have no protection from that happening anyway, I don't see any advantage to assisting the employer without some sort of advance quid pro quo.
My point is that anything you decide to say to the employer, no matter how it may seem justifiable -- it will be used against you. Because, that's simply how these sexual harassment witch hunts go down. Everyone smiles and makes nice -- they get you to tell them everything so that they can mitigate their own liability -- and then they have security escort you to the door.
So, in my opinion, the only rational response is practically no response at all.
Hope this helps.