What should I do if I’m currently suspended from my job pending accusations of sexual harassment?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What should I do if I’m currently suspended from my job pending accusations of sexual harassment?

The incident supposedly happened over a month ago but was just brought to my attention last week. However, I want told what I was to have said, to whom I said, or exactly when. Basically the investigator was super vague and trying to less me as far as what I “might” have said. And also in saying I might have made a gesture. I’m supposed to have a phone conversation tomorrow with him about this and other accusations. What, if anything, should I say? And do I have any kind of legal recourse?

Asked on October 21, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The bad news is, you do not have recourse against your employer, unless you have a written employment contract which they are violating in how thye are investigating or discipining you. Otherwise, you are an employee at will, and may be suspended or terminated at any time, including for vague allegations of sexual harassment. Blame the law to a large degree the law imposes duties on employers when there are claims of sexual harassment and can make them liable for a lot of money if they don't take the claims seriously enough this creates pressure to react strongly to any claim or allegation.
What do tell the truth--that's all you can do. Don't admit to anything untrue, even if you are told to do so or they claim it'll make things easier--it won't. Get as many details as possible (e.g. what was said or done, date, tme, etc.) and then, if there were other witnesses around, pass on their names to be interviewed. Do not get angry, no matter how unfair matters seem.
If you end up suffering some discipline, termination, loss of income, etc. due to what you believe are untrue allegations, you may be able to sue the employee who made these claims for defamation speak with a personal injury attorney if you think this is the case.

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