How can I protect my job against a claim of sexual harassment?

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How can I protect my job against a claim of sexual harassment?

I am lead in my dept; I am also a lesbian. I was called into the office by my supervisor and a co-‘s supervisor. When I sat down the first thing I was told was to “back off X (my co-worker). To which I replied, “Back off how?”. I was also told that this co-worker thinks that,” You expect too much”. I replied,  “How can I expect too much, she doesn’t work for me anymore?”. I was then told that the co-worker thinks that I want a relationship with her. I cried because I have never stepped out of line with her, or any other females that work for me. This co-worker is 24 years old and I am 44. She is a child to me. How can I protect myself from this?

Asked on December 4, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am very sorry for you.  You need to speak with an attorney on this matter as soon as you can.  The claims that they have made as to your pushing the worker too far is different from her claim of sexual harassment but it may be seen as discrimination against you because of your sexual preference.  You need to fight this head on.  Do not let this child use this against you and do not back down.  Then she will have been able to put you in a place that takes away from the freedoms you have been given to live your life as you choose openly and without fear of retribution.  Was this report placed in your employee file?  Is it part of your permanent record?  Then you need to do something about it.  Get help.  Good luck. to you.


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