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-   -   Moral dilemma. Settling lawsuit means my friend will get fired. (http://www.loveshack.org/forums/platonic/business-professional-relationships/635215-moral-dilemma-settling-lawsuit-means-my-friend-will-get-fired)

janellel 17th September 2017 1:47 PM

Moral dilemma. Settling lawsuit means my friend will get fired.
 
Hello, everyone. I could really use some advice right now. This may be a long story because it’s complicated.

So basically what is going on is that I have a lawsuit filed againt my company for sexual harassment, and they have offered to settle it. My attorney has advised me, or really more like has demanded, that I accept the offer because he said it’s a “great deal”. And I guess it is. I would end up getting around $270,000 after attorney fees and basically what would amount to a promotion. The problem is the guy who harassed me was, and still is, actually a friend of mine, and part of the settlement is that the company will “agree” to fire him. I tried to get that part changed, but my attorney told me that it would look bad if I came off like I was defending my harasser. He told me to just sign the papers and “let’s get this thing over with”.

Well, a part of me really wants to take the settlement, after all, that kind of money would really change my life. But another part of me is feeling really guilty because of what will happen to my friend. Now, I know you all are probably wondering how I could be friends with this guy, but the situation is a little complicated. When I started working there, we shared an office and became really good friends. We would always help each other out, we collaborated on various projects, and he always went out of his way to help me. And there was nothing untoward in our work relationship.

The problem is that, as is often the case, when you work all day with a member of the opposite sex, you sometimes get a little too close. And that’s what happened with my friend and I. We started flirting with each other, nothing serious of course (I have a bf), but it progressed to the point that it did become a bit “inappropriate”. Neither of us meant for it to, it just kind of happened “naturally”. It started innocently, with us just making some flirty suggestive comments to each other, but it quickly progressed once I got cosmetic surgery and began feeling more comfortable with my body. I began wearing really short skirts and low-cut tops to work, just for his benefit, and I began letting him openly ogle me. I would bend over by him and let him look down my cleavage, and I’d bend over right next to him for long periods of time and watch him look up my skirt. I would also sit in suggestive postures, including putting my feet up on my desk, and all this with only a thong on underneath! In fact, tbh I remember I would even sometimes just raise up my skirt and ask him what he thought of my panties.

I’m really not sure why I did all this. I mean, I wasn’t sexually attracted to him at all, it’s just that the days here can be long and boring, and at some point you get a little restless. My only explanation is that it was “fun”, and at the time it didn’t seem to be a big deal because it was consensual, and we both knew nothing was ever going to happen (he’s married). But apparently this nosy busy body, who would always come in unannounced every time she walked by just to “check in” on us, reported my friend to HR. She just happened to walk in on us one day when I was showing my friend my thong, and she reported it.

At first, I thought of lying to protect my friend. I was just going to deny the event ever occurred. But then I found out it that the security camera caught the whole event, and not only that, but there was around 30 days of history on it, which obviously would reveal a pattern of behavior. I had thought the cameras were off. So lying was not an option (lying in an investigation is grounds for termination). So I figured I would just tell the truth but try to “minimize” the event for my friend’s benefit, i.e. act like it was really “no big deal”.

The problem came when they asked me why I was lifting my skirt and bending over right in front of him. I tried to think of something “good” to say, but I was caught off guard because from the tone of the questioning I could tell they were trying “nail” me for something, so I just told them the truth, that he asked me to. Then they asked me why I didn’t just refuse, and I was again caught off guard. I said the first thing that came to my mind - he was my boss (“technically” he was). I didn’t know what else to say.

Well, after the investigation concluded,my friend got in trouble for it, but he wasn’t fired. He wasn’t mad at me, nor did he blame me for what happened. He said it wasn’t my fault. But then an attorney called me and wanted my case, and I ended up signing the papers, and then a few days ago he called me and told me about their settlement offer.

And now I don’t know what to do. I thought about signing off on it and then “paying off” my friend with some of the money, but that’s highly illegal and I could really get in trouble for that. So it has become a real moral dilemma for me with no good options. My only choices seem to be either “selling out” my friend and settling, or “selling out” on my settlement and protecting my friend. :(

What do you all think I should do? My attorney just called me again about this a few hours ago.

K.K. 17th September 2017 2:08 PM

Oh my God are you serious? This is a joke right?

You sit around all day at the office flirting, spreading your legs to show your thong enjoying every minute of it and now you're going to sue the company for sexual harassment?? What the hell?

What you should've done is hung the phone up when this lawyer supposedly called you and said you didn't need his services because no harassment was committed here.

YOU enjoyed this flirtation with this man. You call him a "friend" ?

With friends like you, who needs enemies.

This can't be real. Aren't you the girl with all the plastic surgery whose friends all hate her because their man is staring at you? No wonder they hate you! I'm sorry but you're despicable. Seriously. You should've worked on a better personality and self esteem instead of throwing your fake boobs around all over and charging innocent men with sexual harassment.

There's no way this is real. This is the worst thing I've ever read on here.

You don't deserve a penny of anything. Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

Please tell me you're just a bored teenager with nothing better to do than lie on a message board.

janellel 17th September 2017 2:24 PM

I didn't really want to sue. I kind of got talked into it by an attorney. And once you sign and retain one, you are really legally obligated into following through on it.

noelle303 17th September 2017 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by janellel (Post 7417939)
I didn't really want to sue. I kind of got talked into it by an attorney. And once you sign and retain one, you are really legally obligated into following through on it.

I'm pretty sure you can always drop the lawsuit. Yes, you'll be stuck with paying attorneys fees, but to be honest, you kinda deserve it. After all, there really wasn't any harassment and you basically wasted everyone's time and money.

janellel 17th September 2017 3:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noelle303 (Post 7417948)
I'm pretty sure you can always drop the lawsuit. Yes, you'll be stuck with paying attorneys fees, but to be honest, you kinda deserve it. After all, there really wasn't any harassment and you basically wasted everyone's time and money.

The attorney fees would be tens of thousands of dollars. Literally.

And actually, my friend's behavior is technically considered "harassment". Plus, it was not my idea to report anything, someone else did. And then I had no choice but to cooperate with the investigation.

And filing a lawsuit was really my attorney's idea. I did sign the papers, but I felt pressured into doing so and had no idea that things would turn out this way. I thought I was just going to get some compensation. I didn't know part of the deal would be that my friend gets fired.

noelle303 17th September 2017 3:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by janellel (Post 7417968)
The attorney fees would be tens of thousands of dollars. Literally.

And actually, my friend's behavior is technically considered "harassment". Plus, it was not my idea to report anything, someone else did. And then I had no choice but to cooperate with the investigation.

And filing a lawsuit was really my attorney's idea. I did sign the papers, but I felt pressured into doing so and had no idea that things would turn out this way. I thought I was just going to get some compensation. I didn't know part of the deal would be that my friend gets fired.

And why exactly did you feel entitled to a compensation? What happened was certainly extremely inappropriate, but completely consensual, even facilitated by you (per your own admission). Then you lied in the investigation saying that you did all those things because ''he was your boss'' insinuating that he pressured you, when that was not at all the case.

So after basically instigating and maintaining this inappropriate relationship, you lied to make the whole thing sound like it's his fault (when you're both equally at fault and should have both gotten reprimanded by HR), you got away scot free and then felt like you can get some money out of it?

And you want us to tell you that it's ok to take 270 000$ and throw him under the bus? Yeah, not gonna happen.

basil67 17th September 2017 4:03 PM

Why this man continues to be your friend is beyond me.


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