The me too movement just keeps moving along in the media and the court of public opinion, and while nobody wants to see either male nor females be harrassed, there is an awful lot of grey area in most claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment and charges of rape.
What often started out as innocent flirtations in the office, often turns into full-blown flings and affairs. And between those events, often there are promises of promotional advancement alleged to have been broken, innocent emails that are misinterpreted, and more often than not, jilted spouses in the picture as well.
The plain fact is, office romances happen more often than people would like to think and there are so many dynamics to them that it often takes a judge and jury and good attorneys to sort the entire thing out.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
That’s all well and good but when are sexual advances unwelcome and when are they invited by the opposing party. When does an off-color joke rise to the legal definition of harassment? Is it really a hostile work environment if the other party exchanges texts and emails inviting sexual encounters to commence or escalate?
A charge of sexual harassment can cause an executive to lose their position, lose millions of dollars in stock options, and literally ruin their life. So when accusations begin to fly, as they often do, the best thing to do is not to react outwardly, but to consult an attorney how to deal with it.
Don’t leave it to your own devices, or it may escalate into multiple lawsuits, costing millions of dollars, even if you win.
There are many types of auto accidents, and hopefully, you have a good, ethical insurance company on your side. But what happens if an employee of a city, state or the federal government has a collision with your car while they are on duty.
First of all, everyone is pretty much aware there are statute of limitations for lawsuits in general. If you get into an auto accident today, you can’t turn around in 10 years and then suddenly sue.
But what many people don’t know is there are often shortened statute of limitations for cities, states and the federal government. Depending upon the jurisdiction, you may have as few as between 30 and 120 days to file a lawsuit.
Secondly, you need an attorney to draft up a formal notice of claim. The Alvarez Law Firm can help. You need an attorney to do this because there are different requirements of whom to be notified that you intend to sue: ie, the driver of the vehicle, his supervisor, the legal department of the city, etc. Every jurisdiction is different.
Then the Notice of Claim must be sent, usually by certified mail, and you have to wait for the minimal time prescribed by law for the governmental agency to respond.
Also, note that there are many exemptions for a governmental agency, some, unfortunately, that totally exempt a government employee from being held responsible, while others are optional for the government to accept or reject.
You need to have a good attorney on your side to guide you through the landmine of suing a governmental agency.