A friend's manager recently fired a coworker for no apparent reason, even though most people in the office considered the ex-coworker to be hard-working and efficient.
After some time the ex-coworker pressed sexual harassment charges against the manager and the company.
My friend kept in touch with the ex-coworker although they never became close friends.
Knowing that my friend is still in contact with the ex-coworker, the manager had a confidential conversation requesting that my friend tells the ex-coworker of all the bad things that might happen if the ex-coworker does not drop the legal charges. My friend refused to pass the threats over to the ex-coworker. The manager made it clear that if my friend does not cooperate then that can result in job loss.
What might be an optimum strategy in this case apart from or before trying to contact people higher up in the management or the HR department?