I just got put on suspension for possible workplace sexual harassment.I work in the automotive/retail Industry in which it is 98% males..and men all make jokes and lude conduct to each other..and I felt as though I hade to be a part of it in order to be accepted and to keep my job.So it started when co workers didn't like the fact that I did my job and played by the rules and as it turns out came up with the idea of making claims about me sexually harassing a female coworker by saying the I asked her for oral sex and I had told everyone that I wanted it from her,all of which isn't true.Well HR interviewed thea few people (the ones that hate me)and all there stories matched.So after my interview with HR they decided to put me on suspension pending termination after the investigation,when they said they will interview more people and come up with a decision.Well as it turns out all I know as of now is that they interviewed only one more person..the female co worker (who by the way hates my guts as well).Now I get a call about meeting with them tomarrow about the conclusion of the investigation.Well my question is if I get terminated will I get arrested and face charges and if so what are my possible results of me getting arrested and facing charges (jail,fines,etc).if show what are my legal options in Chester county,Pennsylvania
State/Country relating to Question: Pennsylvania
Good Evening -
This is probably going to come as a surprise to you, but if you did not do what your co-workers are alleging, what you have described is sexual Harassment - but you are the victim.
Here's a discussion of Pennsylvania law that may help you explore your options:
Pennsylvania is an employment-at-will state. That means that any employer can take anadverse action, including termination, against an employee at any time for anyreason that is not against the law or discriminatory.
An adverse employment decision that is against the law wouldbe, for example, terminating an employee in retaliation because the employeefiled an OSHA complaint.
A discriminatory reason would be one based on race, color,religion, sex, national origin, Disability, genetic information, pregnancy orage. Here is an Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission publication explaining illegal discrimination: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html. Here is information specific toPennsylvania: http://www.phrc.state.pa.us/
An employer does not have to treat all employees the same,as long as the reason for treating employees differently is not against the lawor discriminatory.
There are exceptions to employment-at will. Those are:
1. An employment contract.
2. An employment manual that states employment isnot at will, or that certain procedures must be followed to terminate anemployee.
3. A union agreement.
4. In Pennsylvania, an employee may not beterminated for reasons in violation of Pennsylvania's public policy.
5. There may be additional exceptions that apply topublic employees, such as police officers and employees of government agencies.
A "hostile work environment" is related to the issue ofdiscrimination and retaliation. A "hostile work environment" arises when anemployee is harassed in the workplace because they are in a protected class, orin retaliation for filing a complaint. A prime example of a hostile work environmentis in the movie North Country, wherea woman working in a mine was subjected to sexual taunts and assaults becauseshe was a woman. (A "hostile workenvironment" does not happen just because a workplace is awful to work in, oran employer is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious - the bad treatment has tohappen because of discrimination or retaliation.)
If the adverse employment action was discriminatory, here isa link to the EEOC website for more information: http://www.eeoc.gov/. Here is information on filing a complaint inPennsylvania: http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/PHRC/offices/regional_map.html
You must file acomplaint within six months of the discrimination!
If the adverse employment action might have beenretaliatory, contact the agency where the Complaint was filed and ask forassistance.
If the adverse employment action was wrongful but notdiscriminatory, a government agency cannot help, but an attorney may be able tohelp. http://www.findlaw.com/is a good resource. If the adverseemployment action violated a Union agreement, you need to work with your Unionrepresentative first.
Comment: Merely talking about sex may be grounds for being fired, but it isn't grounds for criminal charges.
Good luck with this!
Even "if" in HR's interview with her said agreed and said that I have said those things and they believe her.What will happen to me ( do you think they will ask her if she wants to press charges or do you think the employer will on her behalf) and if so what is the least and worst case scenario's.
Even if your HR department believes every word she said, I don't see a crime. However, you could be fired.
Trial Lawyer, 15 Years Experience
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