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How Important is Confidentiality in a Sexual Harassment Case?


When a person is victimized by sexual harassment at work, it can be an awkward and embarrassing situation for them. They might feel uncomfortable at work, but they might also feel scared. They might want to tell someone but are afraid to talk for fear of retaliation. There are options for them to tell their story and maintain their confidentiality. As for those that can be targets of sexual harassment claims in the office, the question of confidentiality can be an important one, especially if the accusation is false or made with ill intentions. A false claim can get out and haunt a person throughout their career.

Is My Case Confidential with a Lawyer?

For those who suffered from sexual harassment at work and found that their employers have not been responsive to their claims, they can turn to an employment lawyer for help in the matter. They can feel confident that their story will remain between them and their legal representative. Lawyers are obligated by client confidentiality, meaning that what is said between the two parties remains between them. This rule allows them to speak freely with a client and gather all the information necessary to properly build a case.

The privilege covers potential clients, as well as if someone meets with a lawyer during an initial consultation, they should feel comfortable sharing their story. Even if after that meeting, the two sides decide not to continue with their professional relationship, the lawyer cannot disclose the details of that conversation with a third party. When a lawyer decides to take on a sexual harassment case, they can file the case without disclosing the victim’s name in the court documents. The identity of the victim might still be known by others related to the case or inferred from co-workers due to circumstances. However, if others attempt to look up the case, the name and other specific details will not be included in the final report.

Confidentiality During an Investigation

When an employee comes forward with a sexual harassment claim, it is a serious accusation that the company must treat as such. Once an accusation is made, a full investigation will be conducted to look into the accusation to verify its validity. The supervisor will either appoint someone to conduct the inquiry or do it themselves. There will be two goals of the investigation. The first is to obtain all the facts about the situation and get to the truth. The second, is to prevent any future problems from taking place again or stopping the ongoing abuse.

During an investigation, the person conducting the investigation must try to maintain the highest level of confidentiality as possible and protect the identities of the alleged victim and accuser. The investigator will have to disclose to the alleged abuser about the accusation and where it comes from and disclose some information to the people that were questioned. However, if the facts of the situation get out before a full and proper investigation, either the alleged accuser or harasser could sue on a few grounds.

Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Advocate for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

If you feel that you have been the subject of sexual harassment at work or you have been falsely accused of harassing someone at your workplace, contact the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. We will investigate your case and determine the next best steps. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.