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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 9088
Experience:  Since 1983
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The instance is harassment, although I can not imagine what

Customer Question

The instance is sexual harassment, although I can not imagine what for. Today I was called into my supervisor's office and I work for the city of x. The supervisor and deputy said that I have been charged with sexual harassment through the HR department. For the life of me I cannot understand why. They told me that I would be placed on administrative paid leave for the next 10 days while an investigation was conducted. They asked me to take my computer home and not to have communication except for x, y, and z. During the discussion with the supervisor and the deputy, they indicated to me that they wanted HR to expedite their investigation because they wanted me back on the job immediately. They indicated that in the last six months (the actual length of my employment there) that they have never witnessed any kind of sexual harassment of my part. They indicated, since both of my supervisors are female, you go to great lengths to ensure space is never violated, and that they have never witnessed anything negative in terms of my behavior and how I interact with others. I have to believe based on our conversations that they think the allegations are not founded. However, I can not rely on this. They may be providing lip service for all I know. All I know is that with 30 + years in the work force no one has ever entered a claim of this nature against me. I am dumbfounded and hurt. Which I told them. I told them that I can not imagine anyone that I interact with would ever feel threatened in any way whatsoever. From the discussion I know that this is not a quid pro quo scenario but someone is feeling for whatever reason that I have created or contributed to a hostile environment for them. I told the supervisor and deputy that I am simply without words, that this is a deer in the headlight situation, and if I have ever did anything, words, touches, whatever it was surely with no sexual innuendo whatsoever. As a male I am very conscious of how actions and words may be misconstrued, and even at this place of employment women have advanced on me in terms of hugging me, touching me, and even saying "slang" comments to me. I have thick skin, so I just dismiss them and even if there was meaning behind it, I would never go to HR. I would just tell them that their comments or actions are unwelcomed and please do not do that anymore. If they continued I would go to my supervisor and let them know...etc. Anything before going to HR. During the discussion I said this to both my supervisor and deputy, ...if I did anything offensive then why did they just not come to me and say so...if they would have it would have been me walking on rice paper, or why didn't they come to you the supervisors, and they said we don't understand that either....etc etc. The bottomline is that I believe the supervisors know that i am not at fault and whoever initiated the claim may be right or they may be unsubstantiated. When HR calls in two days what should I do? Am I just better off to bow down and seek employment elsewhere or should I listen to what HR says and if favorable return back to the job, knowing this "cloud" is over me? What if they do find grounds? How should I protect myself?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question.

My opinion is that you should fight this. If you quit, you may jeopardize your pension rights and you cannot get unemployment, and it will be hard to find another job given the sad state of the US economy.

City employees usually cannot be terminated with some semblance of due process. If HR thinks you did something wrong and wants to discipline you, you can get a free consultation from some of the employment attorneys listed by location here.

I hope this information is helpful.