People in the public eye in Louisiana and across the nation are often the target of accusations regarding their conduct. Sexual harassment, mistreatment, abusive behaviors and other violations of employment regulations are common. That, however, does not mean they are true. While employees are protected from this treatment under employment law, so too are the employers and those in supervisory positions. This is applicable for the public and private sector. Those who are accused of wrongdoing must make certain they protect themselves with help from a qualified attorney.
The Louisiana Secretary of State has been accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit. The woman who filed the case asserts that the man committed various acts over a 10-year period. When she rejected him, she says she was retaliated against. She says that he sent her unsolicited Valentine’s Day cards, gave her a variety of gifts – some of which were sex-related – and refused to accept her lack of interest. For his part, he says that they did have a relationship and that it was consensual. The attorney for the woman denies this on behalf of her client.
The lawsuit also says that he watched the woman at her home after purchasing a residence across from hers. He is alleged to have asked about her private business. She alleges that she was given undesirable jobs because of her rejecting him. The secretary of state is married, but said that he and his wife were living separately. However, the woman did travel to Arizona with him after he asked her to, but claimed it was only in a friendly way. She was then transferred to different jobs in which she had little to do. The suit also says that he asked her if she had learned her lesson after the transfers and if she would do as he asked.
While the allegations are troubling, the secretary of state denies that they happened. Given the state of the world today, people who are accused of sexual harassment are automatically perceived as guilty even if they have not done anything wrong or the situation is being misinterpreted. The key to a situation such as this for the accused is to have a strong legal defense against these charges. Having an attorney to negotiate a settlement or to provide that defense is one of the most important factors to a satisfactory resolution. Employers in the public and private sector should make certain they are protected by contacting an attorney experienced in defending against accusations of employment violations.
Source: theadvocate.com, “Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler says he had consensual sex in past with harassment accuser,” Joe Gyan Jr., Feb. 22, 2018