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Posted On: November 16, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

The Cost Of A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Defending a claim of sexual harassment can be a very expensive proposition. The employer must hire an attorney and decide to either settle or take their chances at trial with either a judge or jury. Many times if the employer does not settle early the legal fees will just keep rising and the employer will feel a vested interested in continuing to fight the lawsuit. Look at the following case to see the potential expense involved.

Stanislaus county supervisors agreed to pay three female sheriff's records clerks a combined $545,000 to settle a lawsuit just days before its trial date. This is after the county spent about $310,000 on legal fees, which brings the total to almost $900,000. One has to wonder how much the county could have settled the case for when it first received notice of the sexual harassment claim. Certainly it could have settled prior to spending so much on legal fees.

In addition to claims of sexual harassment, there are also usually claims of retaliation. In my office in Chicago I see many claims where both sexual harassment and retaliation are involved. Many management employees and human resource departments seem to be untrained on how to handle claims of sexual harassment and end up punishing the person who files the complaint. This usually ends up leaving the complaining employee in a hostile work environment.


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