October 24, 2016
While I usually try to avoid politics, I can't help commenting on Trump's assertion that all of the women - 24 and counting - who have come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment or sexual assault are liars.  http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trump-and-the-truth-the-sexual-assault-allegations  And, as many legal commentators have pointed out, Trump's claim that he will sue his accusers is unlikely.  http://lawnewz.com/high-profile/trump-isnt-going-to-sue-his-sexual-assault-accusers-and-heres-why/
 
Yet all this raises the timely question of whether victims of sexual harassment - in general - do lie. According to the EEOC, not much. They estimate that 3% of the claims filed are false, although over half of all claims are dismissed for lack of evidence.
 
"In my experience, total fabrications are rare, 
yet differences in perception are common"

In my experience, total fabrications are rare, yet differences in perception are common. Two people were in a room alone, something happened and they both walked out with totally different versions of the event. 
 
We've all experienced this in our own lives. We're racing out the door to an early morning appointment. We zip past our spouse or partner who's just making their first cup of espresso. We tell them that the kids need to be picked up at soccer practice after school. We arrive home that night to no kids. Our spouse or partner looks at us blankly when we question their whereabouts, claiming that we didn't ask them to pick up the kids. 
 
Is someone lying in this scenario? No, but these kinds of perception differences are common with harassment allegations.
 

What Should You Do?
Obviously, I have no idea what happened with all the Trump charges since I wasn't there and I didn't conduct an investigation. If someone raises such a claim, your job as a manager, executive or employer is to stay neutral and make sure that there is a full and fair investigation. If you have someone with the training and experience to handle such matters inside your organization, you can assign the task to them. If the alleged harasser is someone higher up in the organization, or the investigator has a conflict, a referral to an outside, impartial investigator is the best route.
 

Did You Know?

We consistently conduct thorough, impartial and fair investigations for all kinds of clients. For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]

Be sure to read Lynne's helpful book on sexual harassment

 
  
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