Workplace hugs and other types of misinterpreted touching
On Behalf of Kirsch Daskas Law Group | Feb 13, 2020 | Sexual assault
It’s very hard to know where the lines are when it comes to touching others who are not direct members of your family. Even something very simple could get misinterpreted. Is giving a hug to the wrong person going to get you accused of sexual harassment or even assault? Maybe you meant it innocently enough, but that’s not how they took it.
This is a real concern, and the lines are sometimes impossible to see in the moment. For instance, one woman went to a conference with her co-workers. She knew some of them quite well and felt comfortable around them. Others, she met for the first time at that conference. She barely knew them at all.
When things wrapped up, she hugged the people she was already close to, knowing they would never misinterpret her actions. They cared about her as a friend, and it was fine.
That when the problems began. The new team members were standing there, and she suddenly felt very awkward to ignore them. That awkward feeling caused her to hug these people as well, despite barely knowing them. Later, she panicked and called a friend, asking if she had crossed any lines or offended anyone.
You can see how fast something like this can happen. Suddenly you say one thing that someone takes the wrong way, or you touch them in a way they think is inappropriate — though you never meant it to be — and you’re facing legal action. There are serious allegations being made, and it’s all one big misunderstanding. That’s when you must know what legal defense options you have.