Employers in Colorado are required to make a good faith effort to investigate workplace harassment claims. Therefore, if someone makes a claim against you, your employer will likely investigate your conduct. There are a number of steps that you may be able to take to protect yourself in the event that you are falsely accused of inappropriate behavior.
It may be tempting to tell your boss that your colleague is lying or try to take other actions aimed at generating sympathy for your cause. However, this may be seen as unprofessional or as evidence that you have something to hide. Ideally, you will say nothing about the matter unless asked for a statement or otherwise given a formal opportunity by your employer to tell your side of the story. It may be worthwhile to ask for a copy of your company’s employee handbook to learn more about what to expect during an investigation.
It’s possible that your accuser has sent you text messages, emails or other types of digital communications. These emails may help prove that you never said or did anything that might have been interpreted as harassment. Alternatively, they may help you prove that your accuser had no problem with the way that you talked or with your behavior at the office. Witness statements may also help you push back against the narrative that you did anything that might be seen as predatory or potentially creates a hostile working environment.
Allegations of workplace harassment may cause damage to your personal and professional reputations. However, cooperating with an investigation and abiding by company guidelines may be the best way to get a positive outcome in your case. If not, it may be worthwhile to take legal action against your accuser.