Many of us were not surprised by the prompt verdict Monday in the sexual-assault case in Denver involving Taylor Swift. A jury of six women and two men concluded within hours that a Denver radio host had groped Swift — grabbed her bottom beneath her skirt during a photo shoot, as his wife stood on the other side of Swift.
Although the case did not involve co-workers, the legal issues and factual disputes parallel what I often see, as a labor and employment lawyer, in workplace claims of sexual harassment and assault. It therefore provides good, timely lessons for businesses, managers, workers, and human resources professionals the next time they confront a similar situation on the job:
In retrospect, the evidence appears to have clearly favored Swift, but these cases never seem as black and white in the beginning. The key to getting to the truth is to have an immediate investigation by a qualified investigator with no vested interest or bias. If that is done, the matter usually can be resolved — and remedied, if needed — promptly, sparing everyone from the spectacle and emotional drain of a trial.