Articles Posted in Sexual Harassment

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by Peter M. LaSorsa

Windmill Farms Nurseries, Inc., pays $40,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). The EEOC charged the company with subjecting a female employee, Sheila Aguilar, to sexual harassment and retaliation by her immediate supervisor Alvaro DeSantiago.

According to published accounts, DeSantiago sexually harassed female employees who worked as planters at the nursery under his direct supervision. The EEOC claims that the harasser sexually propositioned Aguilar and offered favors if she agreed to be his girlfriend. The supervisor allegedly fired Aguilar less than a month after she rejected his sexual advances.

“It is critical for employers to take diligent steps to prevent and adequately address sexual harassment,” said EEOC Tampa Director Georgia Marchbanks.

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by Peter M. LaSorsa

So one of the websites that I love to utilize to attract good clients is LegalMatch. It is a website that allows people who have a legal claim to post cases and find lawyers who concentrate on such cases. This saves the client time and allows me to get in contact with clients who are in need of legal advice and representation. For the clients, this allows them to view the lawyers profile and make a determination as to whether it looks like a good initial fit. Because there are so many websites that claim to match clients and attorneys it is important to utilize only the best. In my opinion, LegalMatch is the best at doing this. The client can select the practice area, for example, Sexual Harassment and only those attorneys that practice in that field will get the email from the potential client. This saves both parties time, which is the same as saving money.

Another great advantage that LegalMatch provides is the ability to read articles that attorney have written about legal issues. So you can get a feel for what the attorney has as far as knowledge in the area of the law that relates to your case. If a person does an Internet search for say Sexual Harassment attorney Chicago, so many results will come back that it can be overwhelming. LegalMatch allows the person to eliminate the need to look at every attorneys website and focus on those attorneys who are aligned with LegalMatch and handles those cases. LegalMatch also ranks the attorneys based on client reviews, which gives a person the ability to see how the attorney has performed in the past with the same type of case. All of these are good reasons to check out LegalMatch the next time you have a legal issue. I have been using it for 8 years and concentrate in employment discrimination cases.

by Peter M. LaSorsa
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by Peter M. LaSorsa

Hot Wheel City pays $20,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. The multi-count lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). Published accounts indicate that Hot Wheel City subjected a female employee to a sexually hostile work environment at the hands of a male co-worker. The female employee reported the sexual harassment and was thereafter fired in retaliation for complaining. If a person reports sexual harassment is then has a negative job action taken against her, it is retaliation under the law.

Many times companies fire the person who complains instead of taking the matter in a serious fashion. In this case the company was very obvious about what it did and that was an illegal move.

“Hot Wheel City has committed to making significant changes that should be beneficial to current and future employees as well as the company.” said EEOC attorney Nedra Campbell

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Cordia Senior Living Settles Retaliation Lawsuit For $40,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Cordia Senior Living pays $40,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a former employee who had complained about sexual harassment. Under the law, if you complain about sexual harassment, the company can’t take a negative job action against you to try and shut you up. It is unfortunate but many times a company will just fire the employee rather than investigate a discrimination claim.

In this case, the company could have just investigated the sexual harassment complaint and taken the appropriate action. By refusing to take action and firing the employee, the company still has to deal with a potential sexual harasser and had to pay money to settle this case.

“We at the EEOC are encouraged that this decree not only remedies the retaliation that occurred, but will prevent retaliation in the future,” said EEOC attorney Hendrickson.

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Sexual Harassment and Christmas Parties

by Peter M. LaSorsa

So there is going to be a Christmas or holiday party at work. You remember what happened last year; too much alcohol and some groping. What rights do you have and what can you do if there is the same type of behavior again this year? In Illinois, sexual harassment is defined as an unwarranted attempt at sexual relations. This could include sexual comments, request for sex or sexual content in the form of Internet websites or pictures. Also, if the person doing the harassment is a manager or supervisor, there is strict liability on the company for sexual harassment. So what does this mean for you?

Don’t let the boss hit on your during the Christmas party. You have a right to be free from sexual harassment even at a party. Because the party is a company sanctioned event, it is an extension of work and liability still attaches. If you are the victim of this type of unwanted attention, you should contact an employment lawyer at once. My office files sexual harassment complaints at the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“) often. Also, take note of any witnesses and if you receive any text messages, save them. Remember, drinking and a party is not an excuse to engage in sexual harassment.

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Braun Electric Pays $82,500 To Settle A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Braun Electric Company pays $82,500 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to published accounts, a male manager continually subjected female workers to a hostile work environment since 2010. The manager made daily grotesque remarks of a sexual nature to female subordinates and made explicit sexual propositions on a continual basis.

And Braun’s management failed to adequately address reports of sexual harassment. Additionally, supervisors failed to report incidents of sexual harassment they witnessed. In Illinois there is strict liability on a company when a member of management engages in sexual harassment. And if the company is told about the harassment and fails to stop it there is liability even if the harasser is not a member of management. In this case one female employee was forced to quit as a result of the ongoing hostile work environment; which is called a constructive discharge.

“The policies, procedures, training, and monitoring that Braun Electric has agreed to put in place will go a long way toward protecting employees from harassment.” said EEOC attorney Anna Park

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Sexual Harassment By The Boss

by Peter M. LaSorsa

So my office gets calls all the time from employees who are in sexual relationship with the boss. Is this sexual harassment in Illinois or under federal law? In order to be considered sexual harassment, the sexual contact must be unwanted. So is what seems like a consensual relationship sexual harassment? Well the answer is it could be. Just like any decision to have sex, if the employee says I don’t want to have a sexual relationship anymore, the relationship must stop without any negative job action.

Also, an employee may feel pressured to enter into a sexual relationship with the boss for fear of losing her job is she doesn’t. This too would be sexual harassment under the law. And if after ending the sexual relationship, the boss fires the employee, this would be retaliation and liability would attach to the company and the boss. In Illinois, an employee could file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“) and they will cross-file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). Protect your employment interests and contact an employment lawyer if this is happening to you.

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Jury Awards Three Employees $500,000 In Sexual Harassment Case

by Peter M. LaSorsa

A federal court jury returned a verdict awarding almost half a million dollars to three former employees in a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. The case was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) against EmCare. According to published accounts, the women had to ensure constant lewd sexual comments and behavior of former AnesthesiaCare CEO Jim McKinney. Additionally, several other management-level employees in that Division also harassed the women.

In this case the jury also found that Human Resources did not respond to the women’s complaints about the misconduct. In what is even more shocking McKinney made an inappropriate remark to one of the women’s then-15-year-old daughter at a “Bring Your Child to Work Day” event. It is hard to believe the company took this case to trial and didn’t try to settle the matter.

“Ms. Stokes, Ms. Shaw, and Mr. Trahan spent their time at EmCare working diligently to do their jobs well despite the pervasive sexual environment that human resources allowed Jim McKinney to create and perpetuate,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Meaghan Shepard.

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Sexual Harassment From The Boss

by Peter M. LaSorsa

So you are working in Chicago and the boss is really taking an interest in you. At first you think it is because of your hard work and great ideas. However, as his interest seems directed more toward your personal life, you believe he has other motives. You do your best to keep the conversations professional, but it isn’t working. The boss is trying to take you out on a date and you are confused as to what you should do.

First, contact an employment lawyer and get some good legal advice. Under the law, you are protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. if a boss or supervisor is doing the harassment, there is strict liability on the company. In this instance, you could file a complain with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“) against the company and your boss individually. Take action and don’t let this type of negative thing happen to you.

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Credit Union Settles Sexual Harassment Case For $75,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Coast 360 Federal Credit Union will pay $75,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of a male employee. According to published accounts, . The male employee was sexually harassed by a member of the credit union. The harassment included gestures of a sexual nature. Even something that seems this minor can end up costing a company a pretty good amount of money.

In this case, the company probably could have settled the case for a good deal less earlier in the proceedings. Many times, companies try to fight the allegations and it cost them more in the long run. The circle the wagons approach, usually doesn’t work.

“Federal law prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace, and employers have the responsibility to protect their staff from such misconduct.” said EEOC attorney Timothy Riera

by Peter M. LaSorsa
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