Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

Fight Harassment Claims

08.04.2008 (8:25 am) – Filed under: Discrimination,Law ::

Rob Lowe is fighting back against what he calls an attempt to damage and humiliate his family by a former employee  who is threatening to file a sexual harassment suit.  Can’t say as I’m a huge fan, but I do appreciate Lowe’s contribution to cinema, mainly because, 20+ years ago, my wife and I went to see Youngblood on our second date.

Lowe says:

when people make false claims of harassment particularly for financial gain, it must be defended vigorously and openly, for it weakens the claims of legitimate victims.

I also know of many people in everyday life who are paying the price of a climate where anyone can accuse anybody of anything, anytime, and hope for a big cash pay-off at the end. “Hush money” to just go away. Well I won’t go away. No one intimidates my family. My wife and I have many former and long term employees, all of whom know this woman, who can and will refute any claims of anything inappropriate in our home, or anywhere else. We will defend ourselves with vigor and without fear. We live in a time where businesses build glass-walled offices to prevent this exact kind of “his-word-against-mine” extortion. But you can’t build a world of glass. You shouldn’t have to live in fear of being alone in a room with a co-worker or having to tip-toe through your own home.

This may yet prove to be just another sordid Hollywood affair when and if all the facts come out.

Even if that proves to be the case, there’s something that rings true about Lowe’s words.  It’s all well and good to strive for a gender-neutral workplace.   When ability, effort, and productivity are equivalent, so should the rewards for employees, regardless of race, gender, etc.

But it’s a sure sign that we have gone too far when the mere accusation of impropriety is akin to a conviction and employers are unable to correct or eliminate poor performers for fear of legal repercussions, situations that happen with disturbing regularity in the American workplace.

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