No one should be made to feel threatened or uncomfortable in their place of work. Unfortunately, there are all too many people who overstep the boundaries between themselves and their employees or colleagues. Sexual harassment is a serious issue and one that is all too often ignored. In California, a recent lawsuit has resulted in a hefty settlement fee for the county.
The settlement comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims to have been improperly treated by her employer. She was allegedly dismissed in retaliation after she revealed details of financial misconduct to a state agency. On top of that, however, during her employment she was apparently subjected to a work environment that she has described as sexually charged.
The district attorney who is the main subject of her complaint, is alleged to have made inappropriate, sexual comments, sent out sexist emails and leered at female employees' chests. His conduct has been described as demeaning and offensive. According to the lawsuit, a woman working for the Victim Witness Office also made offensive comments to the employee about her breasts.
The $155,000 settlement, to be paid by Sutter County, has put an end to the litigation. The complainant dismissed the lawsuit and has agreed not to share any information about the settlement. She has also agreed not to pursue employment within the county in the future.
Cases like this one in California are often drawn-out and difficult. It can be very hard to prove that someone has behaved inappropriately in the workplace, especially if no one else has the courage to back you up. However, the damage sexual harassment can cause to an individual's happiness and confidence should not be ignored. If you are being subjected to a hostile work environment, it is vital to stand your ground. An attorney may be able to help you build your case and challenge those responsible.
Source: Appeal-Democrat, "Lawsuit against Adams settled for $155,000," Harold Kruger, May 9, 2014