A California Court of Appeal reversed the dismissal of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former legal secretary against a Century City law firm and one of its attorneys. Jeri Elster had alleged that attorney Joel Fishman repeatedly sent her copies of sexually explicit emails, and that Finestone & Richter, APC chose not to stop to it despite her complaints. The trial judge had found these claims to be inadequate and dismissed the case.
A Vista Superior Court jury awarded $1.5 million to a woman that claimed sexual harassment by an Oceanside police officer. According to Kimberli Hirst's complaint filed in 2010, she alleged that she was subjected to repeated, offensive and unwanted sexual behavior at work for several months, including sexual comments about her body and requests for sexual acts. Hirst worked for the city as a forensic phlebotomist. She alleged that the officer who harassed her did so in locked rooms at the Oceanside Police Department or at the Vista jail.
A verdict of $1.5 million was awarded recently in a sexual harassment case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against employer New Breed Logistics, a North Carolina-based logistics services provider. The verdict was rendered on behalf of four employees. It included awards of $177,094 in back pay and $486,000 in compensatory damages, as well as $850,000 in punitive damages. Puntive damages are awarded to punish a company whose conduct is found to be malicious or wilfull.
On August 5, 2013, a twelve person jury found Palm Desert real estate developer Suresh Shah guilty of sexually harassing Karen Moran. Ms. Moran was a former leasing agent for Shah and the mall manager at the Town Center Mall in Yucca Valley.
While there are many reasons that victims of sexual harassment delay in bringing claims, such as fear, shame or embarassment, it is critical to comply with certain deadlines.
There are two main types of workplace sexual harassment. The first is quid pro quo. The second is a hostile work environment.
San Diego Mayor Bob Filner admitted Thursday "that I need help" in response to several sexual harassment complaints against him. Despite calls for his resignaton, Filner did not say he would resign. He apologized for his treatment of women and vowed to change his behavior. "I'm clearly doing something wrong," he said.
There is term in the law called "eggshell skull" plaintiff. This refers to a doctrine in tort (i.e. injury) law where the injured person (called the plaintiff in a lawsuit) is unusually susceptible to injury and therefore suffers more than a so-called "normal" plaintiff. The eggshell skull doctrine does not only apply to physical injuries, but applies to emotional and psychological injuries as often found in sexual harassment cases.
There are several things victims of workplace sexual harassment can do to deal with the situation.
The right to work free from harassment or discrimination based on sex or gender is a civil right in California. Sexual harassment comes in many forms and includes unwanted and unwelcome visual, verbal or physical conduct that is of a sexual nature or sex-based including requests for sexual favors. Employees, independent contractors and even job applicants are protected. Both the company and the harasser are liable to the victim of harassment, although, different rules apply depending on whether the harasser is a co-worker or a supervisor. Companies are strictly liable for harassment by supervisors and managers.