Growing Concerns About Sexual Harassment in Employment Environments
New York NBC News recently reported that more than $5 million has gone into settling lawsuits brought against 70 New York employees accused of sexual harassment or gender discrimination.
In addition, half of the accused employees have been allowed to keep their jobs.
A Sexual Harassment Case Where Stephen Hans Represented the Defendant
Attorney Stephen Hans appeared in an NY NBC video to give a statement regarding the case brought against his client by rehab counselor Jennifer Lastra. Both were counselors at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center. While she had various accusations of sexual harassment (she filed complaints with managers and the NYPD), there was no proof to substantiate her claim. Stephen Hans’ client, Paul Burke completely denied the charges and was willing to go to court to defend his side of the case. However, the case settled out of court, and the claimant received $25,000.
In many government cases involving accusations of sexual harassment, internal investigations have found the accusations were without merit. To avoid expensive, protracted litigation where taxpayers would foot the bill, parties reached settlements instead of going to court. As Stephen pointed out, a settlement does not mean that the accused individual was guilty of wrongdoing. In many instances, a settlement is simply a wise decision to save court costs for both parties in a case.
Sexual Harassment — What Is the Other Side of the Coin?
Over the past year with the #metoo movement, sexual harassment has taken center stage as an employment concern for employers and employees across the nation.
While our legal system enables society to prosecute wrong doers, it is also designed to protect the innocent by requiring evidence of wrongdoing. In the United States, everyone has equal protection under the law, and you are innocent until proven guilty. At the criminal level the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, at the civil court level, the burden of proof is a “preponderance of the evidence,” which basically means proving that it is more likely than not that something occurred.
The legal system seeks justice in all cases, for both plaintiffs and defendants.
At Stephen Hans & Associates, we can answer your questions and provide seasoned legal guidance. We have decades of employment law defense experience that we bring to bear in each case we handle.