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Workplace sexual harassment: a two-headed monster

We know that many readers of our Dayton business law blog at Gottschlich & Portune see stories featuring allegations of workplace sexual harassment with some regularity, given their recurrent emergence in the news.

Any environment that breeds or otherwise supports harassing behavior is obviously toxic and in strong need of remediation. Workers in Ohio and everywhere else across the country have every reasonable expectation that they will be treated with basic respect and dignity as they go about their job-related duties.

News stories often focus centrally on problematic employers, that is, company cultures that allegedly foster and promote sexual harassment.

That is admittedly a reality in some instances.

There is a tandem reality, too, though, and it surfaces when companies are wrongly labeled by workers who have a personal agenda that they seek to advance through false allegations.

As we note on our website, "While many claims made by employees are legitimate, many other are not." For a variety of reasons, harassment-related accusations are sometimes false, made by workers "who are angry or just seeking to cash in."

When that is the case, a company that tries to do the right thing has dire concerns, indeed, which we note "affect the organization's reputation and its ability to focus on business operations."

A recent New York Times article on workplace sexual harassment and company strategies to combat and -- when possible -- avoid it cites several strategies for promoting an anti-harassment culture.

We certainly recommend the article to readers who might want to peruse the ideas discussed within it.

And we additionally note this: When a company believes it has acted in good faith in promoting a positive and harassment-free culture and is nonetheless on the receiving end of a worker's threats or demands to take legal action and seek money damages, sometimes the best response is to counter with strong legal action of its own.

Our attorneys advocate diligently on behalf of business entities, defending them against employee claims grounded in harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and additional matters.

There are two sides to every story. We ensure that an employer's position is well conveyed and that a company's rights and best interests are optimally promoted in any matter involving an employee's allegations of wrongdoing.

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