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Evay123!

Falsely accused of sexual harassment- help

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My wonderful brother in law has been falsely accused of sexual harassment Â*and bullying in a grievance brought by a person he directly line manages. This person has stipulated that my BIL has made unwelcome advances Â*and tried to kiss them , which was rebuked .

 

The accuser is then saying they have been bullied and treated differently by my brother in law due to them saying no. For context the accuser has an open case of misleading and lying to the company for which the disciplinary position was about to be started . The accuser knew this , they have less than 6 months service and was about to be terminated , not due to poor performance but for conflict of interest . However the accuser has now put this in writing , and has crime ref number to support the claim of unwanted advance.

 

How does my BIL successfully defend himself in this which is merely a case of the accusers word against theirs . . It’s an incredibly stressful time and the company is very worried that if they don’t act correctly that the accuser could take this to the papers or tribunal , i feel my BIL will be the fall guy to appease the accuser and save the company a potential payout .

 

What can he do ?Â*he has a perfect record , and there is no evidence that substantiates the accusers claims, it’s a last ditch attempt by someone trying to wreak havoc on his career to which he is devastated . What can he do to help himself now ?  

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I've edited a few paragraphs into your post to make it easier to read for the advisers.

 

People should be along over the course of the day to advise, but weekends are always quieter here so please bear with us. :)

 

Best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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To add to my post, have the company asked your BiL for his version of events? Have there been any meetings?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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At this moment , he is due to have a disciplinary meeting once the formal grievance has been heard from the accusers perspective . 

He has been told in an off the record conversation that this is what he has been accused of - the meetings are due to take place later this week 

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Thanks for your reply

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Is BIL a member of a Trade Union ?

 

Do the employers offer any confidential independent advice line ?

 

Your BIL has a right to be provided with full details of any accusations before  any meeting is held to discuss them with him.  This is so that he can obtain advice.

 

If your BIL does not have access to Trade Union advice or an advice line which some employers provide, then I would suggest that he thinks about a Solicitor.   There may be information which your BIL is better off having a private discussion with someone qualified.  

 

Your BIL should think about and get advice about making a counter grievance against the person concerned.

 

 


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Hi 

 

thank you so much for your reply

the company is small and outsources their HR - he has the opportunity to discuss all HR matters with the outsourced company but is worried that it may not be confidential due to them running the investigation also. 


He has briefed about the accusations ( in an off the record chat) and one of the snr management team has said “the good news is that everything is circumstantial “ and there is no evidence .

It’s a classic case of he said , she said.

 

My BIL worries that as the company is so risk averse and in light of the fact that they were due to be exiting the accuser from the business , they now feel if they  do take no action against my BIL ( IMO )  that it will be inflammatory To the accuser and will create more problems .

 

in his mind the cleaner simpler scenario would be to exit my BIL ( 3 years service ) rather than the accuser ( 5 months service )

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And also how beneficial would a counter grievance be - “would defamation of character be suitable ? “

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Evay123! said:

And also how beneficial would a counter grievance be - “would defamation of character be suitable ? “

It'd look like a desperate tit for tat. Don't. People with nothing to hide, are calm and collected and confident.

 

Sit tight, tell the whole unvarnished truth, provide evidence of being elsewhere, ask for witnesses.

 

Don't start playing silly buggers though. He needs to present as the calm face of logic!

Edited by Emmzzi
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Emmzzi is the HR expert, but we normally say that suing for defamation needs a deep pocket and can cost £10,000 plus.

 

It might help if your BiL could post here himself. Chinese whispers can easily derail a thread and as you know, he can be anonymous.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank you both - he’s really struggling to contemplate how he defends himself so at this time we were discussing options and a counter grievance was  a form of defence idea ? 

 

i appreciate points of view from anyone who can support.

 

The context behind a counter grievance was to demonstrate that the claims were that ludicrous he felt it was the only way he could demonstrate his innocence .

 

the challenge is when the accused is saying he made a pass / tried to kiss , they were in a place with no witnesses .

 

Also the accuser is known to greet people with a double kiss on the cheek , colleagues and such like ( including BIL) so at some point they will have had physical contact, he can’t NOT say he didn’t kiss her upon greeting or saying goodbye as instigated by accuser .  

 

This is where he feels he can’t prove his innocence and is worried he will be seen as the easy option to potentially dismiss , as they have already suggested they are worried about accusers capacity to take this further .

 

they are a small business with limited HR knowledge and no HR presence onsite .

Would you recommend my BIL consults / seek out legal advice ?

 

angain thanks you for your support /advice 

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I apologise for nagging but please could we have paragraphs with spacing in between them?

 

If you want people to help, you have to make it easy for them to read your posts. The site team and I can't always be around to edit.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Legal advice is good but note as soon as he starts trying to take a lawyer into meetings, it becomes an external process not an internal.

The test here is "balance of probability." Many years clean record, character references,  suggestion of motive due to discovered conflict of interest (trigger incident) will all be of assistance.

 

If the planned dismissal was due to a serious conflict of interest with the business, it can still go ahead - that won't have changed. I'm not sure why BIL thinks it will have? Either she's working at odds or she is not. Harassment doesn't change that.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, honeybee13 said:

I apologise for nagging but please could we have paragraphs with spacing in between them?

 

If you want people to help, you have to make it easy for them to read your posts. The site team and I can't always be around to edit.

 

HB

Sorry  😐 

 

Typing far too fast - will ensure I do , as all advice is much appreciated 😊

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7 minutes ago, Emmzzi said:

Legal advice is good but note as soon as he starts trying to take a lawyer into meetings, it becomes an external process not an internal.

The test here is "balance of probability." Many years clean record, character references,  suggestion of motive due to discovered conflict of interest (trigger incident) will all be of assistance.

 

If the planned dismissal was due to a serious conflict of interest with the business, it can still go ahead - that won't have changed. I'm not sure why BIL thinks it will have? Either she's working at odds or she is not. Harassment doesn't change that.

 

 

Thank you

 

 Out of interest -  What changes if it becomes an external process ? 
 

His due concern is that due to the covid outbreak the business is already on a tight financial schedule ( adjusted bonuses coming into play etc )  and they simply cannot afford a tribunal to go against them .

 

With the accuser having a crime ref number they have suddenly viewed it so much more seriously and have mentioned that she may attack the business also ( email clients stating she left due to sexual harassment etc ) 

 

off the record the MD has said he believes my BIL but he also said sexual harrasment is a very hard thing to recover from , proven or not 

 

the mixed messages are worrying him

 

the md also said that the accused wants to stay in her job and wants him sacked . She wants to stay , the conflict of interest is serious and still there but they are nervous of proceeding to not upset her and herein the problem lies . 

 

if my BIL is dismissed due to this - what grounds does he have ? He said he would accept a warning if he could keep his job if that would be enough , but I worry about him accepting that - especially as he a not guilty ? 
 

thank you 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Evay123! said:

and has crime ref number to support the claim of unwanted advance.

 

 

That is not evidence of anything except that the complainant has reported it to the police, probably online. In effect it's just an administrative file number that says "you have reported an alleged crime". It doesn't mean the police agree a crime has been committed at all, let alone that your BiL is guilty of anything. The more important question is whether the police have been in contact with your BiL to say they are investigating it, and if they do what the outcome is.

Edited by Ethel Street

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It won't get  as far as an external process. They'll refuse to let him bring a lawyer into the room. Unless they are really stupid.

 

I could get a crime reference number for anything I like tomorrow. Doesn't mean it's a crime. 

 

I can't make his employer develop guts. I can suggest a settlement agreement is so much cheaper than at ET.

 

Has he been suspended? If they think she;' at serious risk, he'll be suspended.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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9 minutes ago, Ethel Street said:

 

 

That is not evidence of anything except that the complainant has reported it to the police, probably online. In effect it's just an administrative file number that says "you have reported an alleged crime". It doesn't mean the police agree a crime has been committed at all, let alone that your BiL is guilty of anything. The more important question is whether the police have been in contact with your BiL to say they are investigating it, and if they do what the outcome is.

No communication from the police at all.

which is reassuring , but they have no idea of when she reported it.

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7 minutes ago, Emmzzi said:

It won't get  as far as an external process. They'll refuse to let him bring a lawyer into the room. Unless they are really stupid.

 

I could get a crime reference number for anything I like tomorrow. Doesn't mean it's a crime. 

 

I can't make his employer develop guts. I can suggest a settlement agreement is so much cheaper than at ET.

 

Has he been suspended? If they think she;' at serious risk, he'll be suspended.

He hasn’t been suspended ( yet) but the formal meeting hasn’t happened as yet 

 

These  are all “off the record “conversations so far - everything starts tomorrow 

 

He wants to protect his job and his reputation , but for lack of evidence on either side how does he ? 
 

She has history of lying ( lieD  about conflict of interest ) then admitted when questioned several times she does have a conflict of interest 

 

She submitted the claim after she saw a meeting in my BIL online calendar that was named after her ( the meeting was with the MD who put the meeting without making it private ! stupid - yes unfortunately )  she rang my BIL to demand what the meeting was about , why is it about me , my BIL said it was about  her conflict of interest - she had been asked to put together a proposal to show why it wasn’t a conflict . She hung up 

 

Then she submitted her claim 

 

 

 

 

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There's no evidence, and she has a motive. On balance of probabilities, and long as he's usually squeaky clean at work, an investigation would see that.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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For context the accuser has an open case of misleading and lying to the company for which the disciplinary position was about to be started"

 

Who have you obtained all of the information from, such as above ?

 

An accusation about sexual harassment, may be seen as not something anyone would do easily, so don't be surprised if it is taken very seriously.  If the person making the allegations, provides enough details, then your BIL will be in a very difficult position.  Hence why it may become necessary at some stage to seek professional legal help.


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Posted (edited)

As unclebulgaria says (#21) any accusation of sexual harassment has to be taken seriously by the employer.  This does not mean that the employer automatically has to believe it.  It means the employer has to investigate it properly and not assume guilt or innocence

 

I am perhaps a little surprised that your BiL hasn't been suspended on full pay(?).  Again, suspension does not mean that the employer thinks your BiL is guilty, it helps them to be able to show that they've investigated the accusations fully and your BiL has had no opportunity to affect the investigation - not that he would.  Is the person making the allegations still at work or are they currently suspended?

 

I think you've only mentioned a disciplinary meeting for your brother?  Hasn't he also been invited to an investigatory meeting for him to put his side of what did or did not happen?  They can't discipline anybody until they've investigated, and any investigation must, I would have thought, be incomplete until your brother (and any witnesses he may have) have had their say.

 

When it comes to a disciplinary meeting (if it does) I understand he is entitled to be accompanied by a union rep or a work colleague.  If I'm wrong, someone will correct me.

 

As you've not answered the question, I assume he's not in a union.  After this is over, he should join one.  (Well I would...)

Edited by Manxman in exile

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9 hours ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

For context the accuser has an open case of misleading and lying to the company for which the disciplinary position was about to be started"

 

Who have you obtained all of the information from, such as above ?

 

An accusation about sexual harassment, may be seen as not something anyone would do easily, so don't be surprised if it is taken very seriously.  If the person making the allegations, provides enough details, then your BIL will be in a very difficult position.  Hence why it may become necessary at some stage to seek professional legal help.

 

9 hours ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

For context the accuser has an open case of misleading and lying to the company for which the disciplinary position was about to be started"

 

Who have you obtained all of the information from, such as above ?

 

An accusation about sexual harassment, may be seen as not something anyone would do easily, so don't be surprised if it is taken very seriously.  If the person making the allegations, provides enough details, then your BIL will be in a very difficult position.  Hence why it may become necessary at some stage to seek professional legal help.

And also how beneficial would a counter grievance be - “would defamation of character be suitable ? “

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The accuser has lied about a conflict of interest and was about to be exited from the company on this basis 

 

As the line manager my BIL was fully aware and supported by the MD in this process 

 

I think that exploring his position with a solicitor my help

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3 minutes ago, Evay123! said:

 

And also how beneficial would a counter grievance be - “would defamation of character be suitable ? “

 

If you don't want to listen - I don't want to respond. Good luck.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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