I own a small restaurant and catering business in michigan. Quite recently I have had a server who walked off of the job due to "stresses". This employee has had a record of legal, substance abuse and mental health issues and has been under medication for them. It has been apparent for some time that she was slipping back to her old ways. Word on the street is she is using again. Any way, after she walked out rumor is being spread by her and her family that the reason for her leaving was due to sexual harassment by me and she could no longer deal with the emotional distress of it and that she was having to seek mental help due to it. She and her family are leveling accusations of lawsuits and telling my employees and others that there are "bad things coming".
First of all these allegations, which no specifics have been given to anybody, have NEVER occured.
Consider the following
Another person living next door to her who was fired for being under the influence of drugs and theft on a shift threatened the same thing. The current accuser at that time defended me and said stated to many people that there was NEVER any harassment going on.
At the time of that incident I instructed all employees of proper reporting procedures for alleged harassment. The current accuser was made aware of those procedures.
On several occasions I was witness to crude behavior on her part where I discussed with her that her actions could be taken as adding to a bad environment. She indicated that she was a "big girl" and "if there was anybody bothering me I would take care of it myself!"
She never once indicated to anybody employees and elsewhere that she was being harassed at work or was in a hostile environment. I even asked her on several occasions when things were getting out of hand with some adult employees, occasions in which she was directly involved, if she was OK with what was being said. Once again she indicated that what was going on was "nothing but horseplay and I can take care of myself"
Upon her walking off of her shift on a Sunday she called first thing Monday morning requesting her job back and stated that she really like being employed at my business and was "dedicated" to seeing it succeed.
Later that day she decided not to come back and we had a meeting to resolve her pay for the last period and a sum of money that she took out in advances. Upon agrreing to pay her a partial paycheck and making arrangements for repayment I asked her about some things that I had been hearing and she flat denied saying anything. I specifically asked her if at any time during her employment did she ever feel uncomfortable, threatened, or harassed at any way. She indicated "NO WAY" and once again "you know I can take care of myself and if anything like that were to ever happen I would". I then asked her to sign a statement in front of a witness saying that at no time had she ever been harassed, coerced into any sexual relations, or had any sexual contact or relations with me. She agreed and signed the statement with an employee witness signature that observed.
So here I am. I have this manipulative ex-con junkie who owes everybody in our town money and is also calling some of my clients and asking them for money trying to make what looks like a money grab.
Question is am I pretty protected by the steps that I have taken and will the statement that she made have any weight in the matter if there is a lawsuit filed?