What can I do to better protect myself from a harassment lawsuit?

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What can I do to better protect myself from a harassment lawsuit?

July of last year ago a former co-worker filed for a harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit against the company we work for. Myself and 3 other co-workers and a manager were named as the harassers. The lawsuit came on after almost a year of that employee being laid off. For a whole year I didn’t hear anything else since I first found out. I kept asking for updates but I was told that there were none. Finally July of this year we got served a second time, this time the issue is a full on lawsuit. I still do not get updates on the issue unless I ask. The only thing that has happened is we all have spoken to the company’s attorneys to get our side, and that the former employee was issued a deposition from our company’s attorneys. I have yet to be served personally. The only parties that have, have been the company and the manager. We are all wrongfully being accused. The company only has mentioned that their attorneys are taking care of it and that they will take care of us through this. I just want to make sure that they are taking the proper steps to resolve this and or if I need to take other steps to protect myself since we’ve have been kept in the blind about this issue?

Asked on September 17, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Are you a defendant in the case or not? That is, are you being personally sued, or are you just named in the case as one of the person who allegedly harassed without the plaintiff actually suing you? If you are a defendant--if you are being sued--you most likely want to retain your own lawyer: the company's interests are NOT the same as yours, and if you are being sued, you don't want to trust the company to protect you--because they might not.
But if you are not actually a defendant, then while it is understandably frustrating or unfair to be involved in someone else's lawsuit, there is nothing directly at stake for you: the company (and any other defendants) would have to pay if the plaintiff wins, but nondefendants do not have to pay. You don't necessarily need to to do anything, and in this case, you can rely on company lawyers.


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