How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask RJM Law Your Own Question
RJM Law
RJM Law, Laywer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3484
Experience:  LL.B (Hons)
106205234
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
RJM Law is online now

We have had an employee that left our company in August

Customer Question

We have had an employee that left our company in August 2020, it was common knowledge amongst staff members that she fancied me. The week before she left she began flirting with me, which I reciprocated. All messages that were exchanged between us were non sexually graphic and were deemed more innuendo. When she left more messages were exchanged between ourselves but nothing ever came of it.
In Nov 20 this employee returned to our company and was re-employed, a few more message were exchanged then it fizzled out. The employee left our company last month to seek employment elsewhere and has now started telling existing members of staff that the reason she left was due to the sexual harassment she had received, citing the consensual messages that were exchanged, which she has apparently screenshotted and is preparing to send them to a solicitor to prepare a sexual harassment case against me.
No Sexual advances were made, no physical contact of any sort was made. The messages that were exchanged were not regular or consistently sent, they were sporadic and the employee returned to work.
They most plausible reason as to why she has chosen this narrative is her partner has seen the messages and has chosen to go down this path.
1) What legal actions can they possible take against me when the message were exchanged consensually and were deemed as banter.
2) If she has manipulated the message by deleting parts of the messages how can this be submitted as evidence.
3) What is the most likely outcome of this ?
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  RJM Law replied 20 days ago.

Welcome and thank you for choosing our service, I will be the expert assisting you with this matter today.   I appreciate this matter is important to you and I shall try to resolve it as precisely and quickly as possible for you today.

Please note; there may be delays between messages as the experts on this website all work on a third party basis and are not online full time however, I shall endeavour to respond to your question as soon as possible.  I look forward to assisting you in this matter.

Thank you.

Expert:  RJM Law replied 20 days ago.

Thank you for the question.  I am sorry to hear about his matter.  On the assumption you no longer have a copy of the messages, I will answer the question.  If you still have them, you have your evidence that it was a two way reciprocated conversation.  However, firstly, she cannot go to solicitor to take you to court for sexual harassment.  If this is the case she would require to take the company to an employment  tribunal and claim that she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex.  She can name you in such an action, however under vicarious liability she would require to take the company to the tribunal.  Secondly, this would not be a civil action but a criminal one, which means she cannot pursue you for a claim, she would require to go to the police they would look at all the evidence and see if they feel there is enough evidence to bring a charge.  If either is the case, you can go to your mobile phone provider and obtain the original messages back, the police will also know this and would likely do it as part of their investigation.  If she does go to the police burden of proof is very high, it is what we call "beyond reasonable doubt" therefore she would require to categorically prove this was the truth.  If she takes your employer to tribunal, they will have to investigate the matter.  If you were dismissed as a result of this, you could potentially have a claim for unfair dismissal.  If for any reason the police do speak to you about this whether they arrest your or ask you to attend a voluntary interview, I would advise seeking legal representation.

I shall provide you with a helpful link that will assist you in finding a solicitor/representative near your local area.  This will provide you with someone nearby your area who can assist you if required.

I hope this information proved helpful.  You will find a local solicitor who deals with these matters on the law society webpage which is as follows;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/ (England)

https://www.lawscot.org.uk/find-a-solicitor/ (Scotland)

https://www.lawsociety.ie/Find-a-Solicitor/Solicitor-Firm-Search/ (Ireland)

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Should you require any further assistance on this matter, please do not hesitate to post a further questions for additional assistance.

Kindest Regards.