Have You Been Wrongly Accused of Sexual Harassment at Work?

Have You Been Wrongly Accused of Sexual Harassment at Work?

Published: 1 August 2021
Published: 1 August 2021
Andrew Anderson, Legal DirectorBy: Andrew Anderson

Have you been falsely accused of sexual harassment at work and need assistance?

Get informed about your rights, responsibilities, and options.

Have you been falsely accused of sexual harassment at work and need assistance?

Get informed about your rights, responsibilities, and options.

If you are facing what you believe is a false sexual harassment allegation at work, you are likely feeling the weight of stress and concern about how it will end. Getting informed about your rights, responsibilities and options is essential whenever you face a workplace allegation. It is all the more important if the allegations are false, unfair or vexatious. Delays in obtaining advice can lead to unnecessary mistakes, reputational harm and risks to economic security.

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Page Contents

Fundamentals of Sexual Harassment at Work

Before you can properly defend yourself against an allegation, you need to understand it.
This section deals with the following:
  • What is the definition of sexual harassment?
  • Who can be liable for sexual harassment?
  • Examples: Sexual Harassment in Workplaces

Fundamentals of Sexual Harassment at Work

Before you can properly defend yourself against an allegation, you need to understand it.
This section deals with the following:
  • What is the definition of sexual harassment?
  • Who can be liable for sexual harassment?
  • Examples: Sexual Harassment in Workplaces

What is the definition of ‘sexual harassment’?

If you are facing a workplace investigation into sexual harassment allegations, it is essential to understand the definition of ‘sexual harassment’ in Australia. Across Australia, there are different laws that define sexual harassment

One definition of ‘sexual harassment’, found in section 28A(1) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), states:

Meaning of sexual harassment

  1. For the purposes of this Division, a person sexually harasses another person (the person harassed ) if:
    1. the person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, to the person harassed; or
    2. engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the person harassed;

      in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

    It requires an assessment of all relevant circumstances, including the sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status, religious belief, race, colour, or national or ethnic origin, of the person harassed. It also requires consideration of the relationship between the person allegedly harassed and the person who is accused of making the advance or request or who engaged in the conduct.

    Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), the meaning of “conduct of a sexual nature” includes making a statement of a sexual nature to a person, or in the presence of a person, whether the statement is made orally or in writing.

    A similar definition of sexual harassment is found in section 119 of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld), which applies to Queensland-based issues and complaints brought under its anti-discrimination laws.

    Generally, Australian laws define sexual harassment as involving:

    • Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature;
    • The conduct leaves the person feeling offended, humiliated or intimidated; and,
    • The reaction of the person is reasonable in the circumstances.

    If any part or element of the meaning of sexual harassment cannot be established, then the allegation cannot be substantiated.

    1. How courts interpret the word ‘unwelcome’

    The meaning of ‘unwelcome’ was considered in detail in Hughes trading as Beesley and Hughes Lawyers v Hill [2020] FCAFC 126, in which it was stated in paragraph [23]:

    [23] … if an identified form of conduct is established subs (1) also requires that it must be ‘unwelcome’ to the person allegedly harassed. This is a question of fact which is subjective and which turns only on the allegedly harassed person’s attitude to the conduct at the time. Even if the Court has concluded under the first limb that one person has engaged in conduct of a sexual nature towards another person, this will not constitute sexual harassment under the provision if it was not actually unwelcome in this sense. Ordinarily this will be proved by the person allegedly harassed giving evidence that the conduct was unwelcome but that mode of proof is not dictated by the statute and proof of this fact, like proof of any other fact, may be done by a variety of means. In some cases, I suspect this is one, the unwelcome quality of the conduct will be painfully obvious.

    It is clear from this passage that ‘unwelcome’ is a subjective question to be answered. As such, it is not to the point that the person engaging in the conduct did not intend to sexually harass the recipient of the conduct, nor is their motive (such as to engage in a joke or otherwise).

    Whether the same conduct may be acceptable to others (ie, not unwelcome), or has been an accepted feature of the workplace in the past, is also irrelevant: Hall v A & A Sheiban Pty Ltd & Ors [1989] FCA 72.

    2. The ‘reasonable’ person test for sexual harassment

    The reasonable person test is one of the elements for sexual harassment. It is an objective test, which means it is not determined from the position of the person allegedly harassed, nor simply by reference to what the person who engaged in the conduct intended or believed. The focus of the reasonable person test was explained in Hughes trading as Beesley and Hughes Lawyers v Hill [2020] FCAFC 126 in paragraphs [25] – [27]:

    [25] … The objective question is not whether a reasonable person would regard the conduct as being sexual in nature (as defined) for that is a threshold question the Court determines for itself. Nor is the objective standard applied to the question of whether the person allegedly harassed ought to have regarded the conduct as unwelcome, for that is an issue to be determined by reference to the actual state of mind of the person. Instead, the objective standard is applied to a new issue – that of whether a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

    [26] In answering this question, the reasonable person is assumed by the provision to have some knowledge of the personal qualities of the person harassed. The extent of the knowledge imputed to the reasonable person is a function of the ‘circumstances’ which the provision requires be taken into account. Mention has already been made of the nature of the relationship between the harasser and the harassed. It is convenient also to note that the circumstances will include any disability the harassed person is suffering from (subs (1A)(c)) as well as matters such as sex, age, religious belief or sexual orientation (subs (1A)(a)). But the list in subs (1A) is merely inclusive so that other unspecified but relevant circumstances may also be taken into account. The canvas is broad.

    [27] Equipped then with that information, the question to be asked is whether the reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated. Each of these is different in kind and it should not necessarily be thought that they are arranged in order of seriousness. It may, in some cases, be worse to be deeply offended than it is to be slightly humiliated.

    While many people typically thinking of workplace bullying involving conflicts or issues between colleagues, the law actually applies far more broadly.

    Who can be liable for sexual harassment?

    Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), sexual harassment in the workplace is unlawful. Sexual harassment may be committed by the owner of a business, managers, fellow employees, contractors or people seeking to hold one of those positions. Under amendments in 2011, it is also unlawful for a person to sexually harass another person in the course of providing or seeking, or offering to provide or receive, goods, services or facilities. This amendment increased the scope of how sexual harassment may occur in the workplace.

    So a person who sexually harasses another person may act unlawfully under sexual harassment laws (such as the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)), which can give rise to liability under civil claims. Some serious instances of sexual harassment may also lead to criminal complaints, such as where a sexual assault or an indecent exposure occurs.

    Employers may be vicariously liable for sexual harassment that occurs in a workplace unless they have taken “all reasonable steps” to prevent it. This is because the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), as well as other sexual harassment laws across states and territories in Australia, contains laws making employers vicariously liable. The existence of vicarious liability creates a powerful incentive for employers to ensure that they have appropriate policies and procedures in place to minimise the risk of sexual harassment occurring in their workplace, as well as to act in relation to allegations of sexual harassment.

    Examples: Sexual harassment in a workplace context

    Seeing examples of what may be sexual harassment assist to illustrate the types of behaviours intended to fall within the meaning of ‘sexual harassment’. Examples of sexual harassment are given in the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld), which includes:

    • physical contact such as patting, pinching or touching in a sexual way;
    • unnecessary familiarity such as deliberately brushing against a person;
    • sexual propositions;
    • unwelcome and uncalled for remarks or insinuations about a person’s sex or private life;
    • suggestive comments about a person’s appearance or body;
    • offensive telephone calls of a sexual nature; and,
    • indecent exposure.

    The above illustrates that sexual harassment can be perpetrated in a variety of ways. However, for that same reason, there will be instances where a sexual harassment complaint is made wrongly or unfairly due to a misunderstanding about the context of a person’s conduct, or because in the absence of such context, innocuous events may be construed as sexual harassment. While there are many instances where there are disputes about what actually was said or the importance of some broader context that is relevant to what may have occurred, sometimes there is simply no room for interpretation.

    Due to the implications for anyone facing a sexual harassment complaint, it is often the case that a formal workplace investigation into a sexual harassment allegation will take place prior to any decisions being made. For that reason, it is critical for anybody facing allegations of this nature to understand their fundamental rights and responsibilities.

    Rights & Responsibilities of Respondents

    Rights and responsibilities may help frame your response to (unfair) allegations made against you.
    This section deals with the following:
    • Rights following a sexual harassment complaint
    • Responsibiliites of respondents to complaints

    Rights & Responsibilities of Respondents

    Rights and responsibilities may help frame your response to (unfair) allegations made against you.
    This section deals with the following:
    • Rights following a sexual harassment complaint
    • Responsibiliites of respondents to complaints

    Respondent’s rights following sexual harassment complaints

    Individuals falsely accused of sexual harassment at work have a number of rights or are owed a number of obligations by their employer. Understanding these rights can be important in understanding how a response to a complaint may best be handled.

    1. Procedural fairness

    Procedural fairness is essential for anybody facing a workplace sexual harassment complaint. It is particularly important to anybody unfairly or falsely accused of sexual harassment in the workplace. Procedural fairness applies to all aspects of a complaint or grievance, including the following:

    • Allegations must be properly particularised and detailed to ensure the respondent understands the accusations they face and what is the scope of any investigation that may take place.
    • All evidence that is relevant, which either supports or contradicts the allegations, should be gathered and considered.
    • Real or perceived biases, prejudgment and conflicts of interest must be absent from any investigator or decision-maker.
    • Investigators and decision-makers must act promptly to avoid unfair prejudice due to delays.
    • Potential consequences (ie, disciplinary action) ought to be identified for the respondent.

    It is important that a person facing a workplace sexual harassment complaint and who is subject to a formal investigation should be afforded the opportunity to comment or respond to evidence that is inconsistent with or contradictory to their own evidence. It is not uncommon to see a respondent to an investigation not be afforded procedural fairness, which can result in adverse disciplinary decisions and possible termination of employment, particularly regarding workplace sexual harassment allegations.

    If you are the subject of a workplace investigation looking into sexual harassment allegations you believe or know to be unfair, wrong or vexatious, the only purpose you have is to clear your name. Understanding the fundamental obligation of an employer to afford employees procedural fairness in facing an allegation should help to shape your response and adapt it to the particular situation you may face.

    2. Confidentiality rights

    Given the reputational risks that complaints of workplace sexual harassment create, employers have a duty to maintain confidentiality during a workplace investigation. It is important to note confidentiality obligations do not prohibit compliance with any relevant mandatory reporting obligations.

    It is quite common to see directions issued to staff who may allege, or are allegedly witnesses to, workplace sexual harassment to observe confidentiality obligations as part of a workplace investigation. Failures to appropriately manage the confidentiality of a workplace investigation can result in successful claims against an employer by a respondent, particularly if the breach of duty causes a psychiatric injury to the worker.

    While confidentiality obligations may create a sense of isolation at times, they can also act as a protection for people falsely accused of sexual harassment at work. Generally, if a person (including a complainant) fails to observe their confidentiality obligations, they can become subject to disciplinary action.

    3. Health and safety rights

    Employers have a duty of care for employees who are required to deal with a workplace investigation into sexul harassment allegations. This includes a duty to protect the health and safety of employees who face complaints as part of a workplace investigation. An employer may be liable for injuries caused as a result. The issue was broadly considered in Hayes v Queensland [2016] QCA 191, in which Dalton J stated at paragraph [110]:

    In an appropriate case a duty will arise not because the work, workload, or system of work itself is creating problems, but because there is unhappiness within the workplace, not of the employer’s making, but of which the employer is aware.

    The case of Hayes v Queensland [2016] QCA 191 concerned four employees who faced allegations of bullying and harassment from their colleagues. While the allegations were unsubstantiated following a lengthy workplace investigation, claims were brought against the employer (State of Queensland) for breaching its duty of care by failing to provide adequate support during the process. It was found that the duty of care owed to the employees facing complaints had been breached and that it had caused psychological injuries. As was observed by Dalton J at paragraph [173]:

    In Johnson v Unisys Ltd the speeches in the House of Lords recognised that in modern times it is generally recognised and understood that “work is one of the defining features of people’s lives” and that workplace stress can give rise to recognisable psychiatric illness.

    Citation omitted.

    A failure to take ensure a timely investigation and determination of a complaint within the workplace may also be a breach of the duties of care owed to employees: see Robinson v Queensland [2017] QSC 165.

    There is an important difference between providing a safe system of work, including support for an employee during a workplace investigation, and a safe system of investigation. While the former may be a duty owed by employers to employees, the latter is not generally regarded as a right, as was held in Govier v Uniting Church [2017] QCA 12.

    While a person facing an investigation into workplace sexual harassment allegations may seek advice from a lawyer or union representative at any stage, having a lawyer or union representative act beyond the role of a support person during an interview about allegations may not be permitted to occur.

    One of the key roles a lawyer or union representative plays is to provide advice and guidance about the process, particularly when the allegation is false or it is thought the conduct of workplace investigation is unfair. A lawyer or union representative may be able to take action to ensure relevant evidence is gathered, appropriate adjustments are made, or unfair investigations are stopped.

    5. Privilege against self-incrimination

    The privilege against self-incrimination is an important legal principle that is deeply rooted in our legal system. If you face complaints of workplace sexual harassment, it is possible (but by no means inevitable) that such allegations could amount to criminal conduct.

    Privilege against self-incrimination means that you cannot be compelled to answer questions that may show you have committed a crime if the answers that may be given may place you in real and appreciable danger of conviction.

    The protection of the privilege against self-incrimination is more complicated with respect to workplace allegations than it is in purely criminal investigations. The High Court of Australia has stated that the privilege is capable of applying to questions asked by employers of employees: Police Service Board v Morris (1985) 156 CLR 397. So the privilege against self-incrimination may apply in the employment sphere if there is a real and appreciable danger that you would incriminate yourself by answering particular questions in an interview: Grant v BHP Coal Pty Ltd [2017] FCAFC 42.

    Navigating issues such as this is often complex and highlights the importance of people getting early, authoritative advice from an experienced employment lawyer.

    6. Reasonable accommodations

    Employers should ensure reasonable accommodations are afforded to employees who may suffer from a disadvantage that makes their ability to respond to an allegation more difficult. This may be due to a particular characteristic, disability or illness suffered by the respondent.

    Illnesses are a common issue encountered following a bullying complaint being made. The employer or workplace investigator should take steps to understand, including through medical evidence, whether accommodations are needed and if so, what they may be.

    It can be an error for a workplace investigator or decision-maker to not afford someone facing allegations a support person during any meetings or interviews that take place. For example, in Sheng He v Peacock Bros Pty Ltd & Wilson Lac v Peacock Bros Pty Ltd [2013] FWC 7541, an unfair dismissal claim was successful when it was found that it was unfair due to a support person not being present during a disciplinary meeting in addition to other flaws in the investigation process.

    Respondent’s responsibilities following a complaint

    When a complaint or grievance is made, it is important to not only consider what rights you may have, but also responsibilities. These responsibilities or obligations may arise from the duties employees owe employers generally under laws relating to employment contracts, specific laws, or the policies and procedures an employee may be expected to adhere to in a given workplace.

    Employees have a general responsibility to comply with reasonable directions of their employer, including conditions imposed as part of a workplace investigation into a sexual harassment allegation (even if the allegation is false).

    Following a workplace sexual harassment complaint being made, a respondent will generally have the following obligations with respect to any investigation or response that may be required:

    • Act honestly and frankly;
    • Maintain confidentiality as reasonably required by the workplace investigation.
    • Not take adverse action against a complainant or witness; and,
    • Participate in a workplace investigation into the allegations.

    There are exceptions to these general obligations, such as when a person refuses to answer questions on the basis of the privilege against self-incrimination and sometimes with respect to confidentiality issues. It is the reason why it is always necessary to take a tailored approach to the response to be given to any allegations about sexual harassment.

    If you are facing a sexual harassment allegation and fail to uphold your responsibilities as part of it being investigated, you may jeopardise the effectiveness of any response you may provide to clear your name. Obtaining early and authoritative advice from an experienced employment lawyer can assist you to understand your rights, obligations and options.

    Responding to Unfair Harassment Complaints

    If you are facing an unfair harassment complaint, it is critical to make an effective response.
    This section deals with the following:
    • Steps to providing effective responses
    • Challenging the fairness of an investigation
    • Confidential negotiations and settlements

    Responding to Unfair Harassment Complaints

    If you are facing an unfair harassment complaint, it is critical to make an effective response.
    This section deals with the following:
    • Steps to providing effective responses
    • Challenging the fairness of an investigation
    • Confidential negotiations and settlements

    Steps to providing effective responses

    Whenever you are faced with a legal question, the quickest way to find an answer to it is to ask somebody who already knows. Following a sexual harassment complaint, particularly one that is unfairly made, there is no single answer as to how to best respond if you are the subject of it.

    While there are methods or steps that may be followed to try to improve the effectiveness of any response to allegations, in truth all responses must be adapted to the specific needs of the case. One method is to analyse the options available through a series of steps, specifically:

    1. Identify the issue (issue)
    2. Identify the legal framework (rules)
    3. Apply the law to the specific evidence relevant to the issue (application)
    4. Decide the appropriate response for your case (decision)
    1. Issue

    In order to provide an effective response following being falsely accused of sexual harassment at work, you need to be afforded sufficient particulars of the complaint in order to understand what you are facing and have a reasonable opportunity to answer them. In some cases, this will extend to being provided with some or all of the evidence relevant to the allegation.

    What meets the needs of procedural fairness is not fixed. For that reason, it is not uncommon that a lawyer representing a respondent facing a workplace investigation seeks further and better particulars in respect of the allegations or disclosure of evidence that may be relevant to address the issues.

    2. Rules

    It is surprising how frequently employers and workplace investigators overlook key aspects of the legal framework relevant to allegations of workplace sexual harassment. Why that can matter is the legal consequences that flow from the investigation findings for a respondent may be overturned or altered, such as through unfair dismissal claims, general protections claims or action taken in respect of a breach of contract.

    Understanding the legal framework generally is necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a particular allegation. A simple example is understanding the legal test for the meaning of the word ‘sexual harassment’ under anti-discrimination laws in Australia.

    In representing a respondent who is unfairly or falsely accused of sexual harassment at work, identifying the legal principles and other rules that apply to the situation forms a critical aspect of the work, as it frames the advice about how the law may apply to the facts.

    3. Application

    By understanding the issue and the legal framework, you should be able to identify what facts or evidence are relevant to answering the allegation. If you are facing a workplace sexual harassment complaint you know or believe to be unfair, understanding these matters affords you an opportunity to ensure you can provide a fulsome response.

    A respondent to an allegation may simply take the view that all they need to do is answer questions truthfully and let the process take its course. This view places full trust in the fairness of the process commenced by the employer, which may or may not involve an independent investigator. In truth, such an approach may leave a person vulnerable to unnecessary mistakes, reputational harm and risks to employment security.

    Properly understanding the issues and the rules that apply allows people to proactively make decisions knowing their rights and obligations. For instance, a respondent who fears the complaint may be substantiated (whether fairly or unfairly) may wish to resolve the issue without an investigation needing to reach a conclusion. They may no longer wish to continue in their current job due to the issues that have arisen. This may mean a lawyer may be engaged to attempt to resolve issues through end of contract negotiations. Alternatively, a respondent may vehemently wish to defend themselves against the allegations, but require further and better particulars before being able to properly address them.

    A person who understands their rights, responsibilities and options is far better equipped to make a decision that best suits their interests over the person who simply follows a process without such understanding.

    4. Decision

    Simply put, different people will draw different conclusions about how best to respond to workplace sexual harassment allegations. In most cases, there will be multiple ways to respond and the decision will be made according to the personal priorities of the individual.

    When a process does not result in the findings you thought it would, or you end up being disciplined or losing your job as a result of a complaint, knowing what options you had can still assist. It may position you to know whether you have the ability to challenge the fairness of the investigation, disciplinary action or dismissal, such as by filing a claim in the Fair Work Commission. The sooner a person obtains legal advice, the earlier they will be able to structure their response to achieve their ultimate aims, whatever they may be.

    Challenging the fairness of an investigation

    It is not uncommon for people to have misgivings about the fairness of a workplace investigation they may be subject to, yet still ‘hope for the best’ in the belief that it may be held against them if they challenge issues during the investigation. While this is an understandable thought, it can backfire. Failing to make a timely objection to something may be taken into account as being the product of disappointment with the process only in the aftermath.

    Deciding to raise objections to aspects (or the entirety) of a workplace investigation requires careful consideration. However, where the concern relates to something that may adversely affect the conclusions reached by an investigator, it can be important to consider what impact it may have on the ultimate outcomes. Examples of instances where an investigation may be challenged include the following:

    • Bias or perceptions of bias on the part of the investigator;
    • Investigators acting inconsistently with the law or procedures relevant to the particular investigation;
    • Allegations that are general, vague or do not disclose their basis; and,
    • Failure to disclose key evidence or give notice about possible adverse findings.

    Generally, though not always, the longer a process goes on the harder it is to seek alterations to it. For that reason, anybody who holds concerns about the fairness of an investigation into sexual harassment allegations ought to seek advice from an experienced employment lawyer at the earliest opportunity.

    Confidential negotiations and settlements

    Confidential negotiations regularly occur between parties during a dispute. Generally speaking, attempting to settle a disputed issue through negotiation, which can avoid litigation and claims being filed, may be in the interests of all concerned parties.

    Invariably, employers and employees who reach a settlement enter into a deed of agreement, which is often the subject of confidentiality provisions, recording the resolution of all disputes that may be resolved by law and on what terms. It is important to note, however, the use of confidential settlements for sexual harassment complaints are controversial, given the way such agreements have led to the protection of perpetrators with a propensity for harassment and abuse. It is likely there will be ongoing law reform to ban or limit the use of non-disclosure agreements with respect to workplace sexual harassment claims.

    Disputes Following Harassment Claims

    Disputes may follow investigations or decisions in relation to sexual harassment complaints.
    This section deals with the following:
    • Disclosure of the investigation report
    • Disputed disciplinary decisions
    • Claims in the Fair Work Commission, etc.

    Disputes Following Harassment Claims

    Disputes may follow investigations or decisions in relation to sexual harassment complaints.
    This section deals with the following:
    • Disclosure of the investigation report
    • Disputed disciplinary decisions
    • Claims in the Fair Work Commission, etc.

    Disclosure of the investigation report

    Respondents are not always given a copy of the investigation report, nor are they always provided with an opportunity to comment on contradictory evidence or potential adverse findings. In some cases, this can lead to disputes, sometimes for good reason. Experience has shown that investigators and decision-makers do get things wrong, which can lead to unfair outcomes. Examples of the types of disputes that can occur over investigation reports include:

    • The evidence relied upon to support certain findings is unstated or unclear;
    • The reasoning process for certain findings is unstated or unclear;
    • The report overlooks or ignores key credibility or reliability issues;
    • Conflicts of interest have not been managed appropriately; and,
    • Failure to disclose the full investigation report and evidence gathered.

    If you find yourself disputing the outcome of an investigation report, it is possible to dispute it in a number of ways, such as by commencing an unfair dismissal application, general protections claim or an action for breach of contract.

    Disputed disciplinary decisions

    If you are subject to notification of a potential disciplinary issue or are under investigation for an issue relating to sexual harassment, you may face possible disciplinary action that you dispute, such as:

    Some disputes may be resolved by direct discussions or negotiations with your employer or their lawyers. Others can only be resolved by claims in courts, tribunals or commissions. Understanding your options to dispute decisions about your employment and reputation is essential to ensuring you do not face an outcome that is harsh, unjust or unreasonable.

    Claims in the Fair Work Commission, etc.

    Commencing a claim in any jurisdiction is a significant step. While it does not necessarily stop negotiations or alternative resolutions to a disputed issue, it necessarily involves adversarial action that – if not resolved – can take weeks, months and sometimes even years to end. Before commencing any claim, such as an unfair dismissal claim in the Fair Work Commission, obtaining advice from an experienced employment lawyer can ensure you get the guidance necessary to know how to maximise your prospects of successfully litigating a claim.

    Don’t Just Get Informed, Get Advice

    This section deals with the following:
    • Why you should get advice from Anderson Legal
    • How Anderson Legal may assist you
    • Limitations on general information

    Don’t Just Get Informed, Get Advice

    This section deals with the following:
    • Why you should get advice from Anderson Legal
    • How Anderson Legal may assist you
    • Limitations on general information

    Why you should get legal advice from Anderson Legal

    If you need legal advice, these are just some of the reasons to choose Anderson Legal:

    Andrew Anderson, Legal Director, is an award-winning lawyer with a passion for employment law. He is independently recommended as being among the leading corporate crime, white-collar crime and regulatory investigations lawyers in Australia (Doyles Guide, 2020).
    Having successfully represented litigants in the High Court of Australia, Queensland Court of Appeal, Royal Commissions, Fair Work Commission and multiple other courts dealing with trials and other hearings, Andrew Anderson understands how to succeed in complex and difficult cases.
    Andrew Anderson has worked as a Principal Crown Prosecutor in Queensland and barrister in private practice at 8 Petrie Terrace Chambers in Brisbane. His depth of courtroom advocacy experience ranges from simple cases right through to complex trials and appeals.
    Anderson Legal is a law firm that is dedicated to the best ideals of the legal profession. Seeking to exceed client expectations and fighting for justice is an everyday pursuit.

    Anderson Legal offers a no-obligation, free initial consultation. The reason is simple – it shouldn’t cost anything for a person to pick up the phone and understand if a particular law firm can help them or not. Anderson Legal takes the time necessary to understand the issues and to determine if we are in a real position to provide the standard of advice and representation you are entitled to expect.

    How Anderson Legal may assist you

    Although this firm is based in Brisbane, Anderson Legal is frequently engaged to provide advice and representation for people facing employment law issues across Australia. It is often the case with employment law issues that advice and assistance can be delivered remotely just as effectively as sitting down face-to-face.

    If you are dealing with an allegation relating to sexual harassment and seek advice and guidance, Anderson Legal offers comprehensive legal services for its clients. This includes:-

    • providing advice relating to allegations made or documents served on our clients;
    • identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the issues faced by our clients;
    • advising clients on options relating to obtaining evidence, including expert evidence;
    • communicating on behalf of its clients with employers, HR representatives, and others;
    • resolving, where possible, disputes through negotiation; and,
    • filing claims in courts, commissions and tribunals.

    This firm places an emphasis on providing clear guidance so that our clients are placed in a real position to make informed decisions about their options and preferred path forward. Often, cases can be resolved quickly and without contested litigation. Anderson Legal provides clear, transparent disclosure of its legal costs at every stage and works to ensure real value is added at every point.

    Limitations on general information

    Each legal issue is unique. This information cannot – and is not meant to – substitute legal consultation. It is designed to outline information of a general nature if you want to learn more about workplace sexual harassment claims, particularly as it relates to people who are the subject of false or unfair accusations. Anybody facing sexual harassment allegations against them ought to obtain expert legal advice and guidance as soon as possible.

    No content accessible on the website is created to provide specific legal answers or advice. It is designed to provide general information about legal matters and related concepts. It should not be used as, or in substitute of, your own legal advice or other advice as appropriate.

    To the extent allowed by law, no warranty, condition or guarantee is provided in relation to the accuracy or reliability of any information contained on this site. Content may be changed from time to time without notice.

    If you face a sexual harassment complaint, contact Anderson Legal. This firm provides expert advice and representation for people needing assistance to defend themselves against unjust accusations.

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    False Sexual Harassment Allegations - Australia