“Hey, Eden. How are you? I was wondering if you could give me some advice….”
Several of his trainers had gone out drinking to celebrate, and all imbibed a little too much. What happened next was a case of wrong-place-wrong-time and he-said-she-said.
One of the female trainers became ill and was escorted home by a male co-worker. As night turned into day, they both fell asleep. They woke up several hours later and went about their lives as usual — briefly.
Then my friend, the owner, received an alarming call — the female trainer was threatening to press charges. “He fell asleep in my bed. He was groping me while touching himself!” she exclaimed.
The male co-worker denied her claims. But there were no witnesses.
“This is a disaster! What do I do?” pleaded the owner. “I need to protect my business! We’ve already suspended him indefinitely. What else should I be doing?”
Before offering advice, I peppered him with questions:
How many other people know?
What have you already said and done?
Do either of them have a history of inappropriate behavior with co-workers?
How long have you known each of them? How’s his reputation? How’s hers?
How detailed are each of their stories? Whose is more believable? Why?
Has she filed a police report? Is a formal investigation being conducted? How soon will it be done?
Are your clients aware of this, and are any threatening to leave?
How’s this affecting your employees? Are they taking sides?
What are you hoping to achieve?
Let me have your attorney’s info, and we’ll coordinate a strategy, I recommended.
“Lawyer?!?! No!” the owner exclaimed. “We want to attract as little attention to it as possible. This looks terrible! Do you think we can have him back — he’s a good trainer and popular with clients?”
“All right. Breathe,” I consoled my friend. “Don’t do anything else until you’ve called your lawyer. It sounds like you’ve taken the right steps thus far, but we need to coordinate a strategy with counsel before going forward.”
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