Workplace affairs almost always get messy, especially when they involve a supervisor and a subordinate. But that doesn’t mean that the subordinate is destined to win the case every time. If she can’t show that the affair was unwelcome, she won’t win.
Recent case: Patti Lemmon worked as an accountant and restaurant manager for Richard Ayers, the married owner of an accounting office and Subway franchise. She almost immediately succumbed to Ayers’ charms and had an affair. Later, when she broke it off, she sued for sexual harassment and a long list of other claims.
But Lemmon couldn’t show that the affair was unwelcome, coerced or accompanied by threats related to her job. The court tossed out her lawsuit. (Lemmon v. Ayers, No. 3:09-CV-361, SD OH, 2012)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Make bosses justify hiring, promotion choices
- Retaliation: Don't sweat link between complaint and firing, if you would have fired anyway
- Creative benefits help employees with cancer stay on the job
- Lumbee Tribe faces EEOC sexual harassment charges