Question

How do I protect myself in California if an employee sues me for sexual harassment?

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Answered by: Daniel J. Kessler

Located in Irvine, CABurkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP

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Answer

The most effective defense against a sexual harassment suit is a strong arbitration clause. You need to implement this clause ideally at the time of employment. You can put such a clause into action any time before a claim arises and this will help protect you and your business.

Hire counsel to evaluate the claim and see if early resolution is viable and advisable. Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The single best thing you can do is to have a strong arbitration clause already in place. If you haven’t done that, as soon as you get word of a lawsuit, engage experienced counsel to do a thorough investigation and to take a serious and objective look at the lawsuit. An attorney can then advise you if you should settle or pursue the case in court.

The value of arbitration clauses

An arbitration clause is simple and enforceable. It allows the dispute to be resolved by professional jurists, not lay people. This helps avoid the risk of a runaway jury verdict. Additionally, a solid arbitration clause will also work to dissuade contingency fee plaintiff’s lawyers from pursuing marginal cases.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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