Weinstein Co. Must Answer Sexual Harassment Accusations in Court

After allegations of misconduct against Harvey Weinstein revealed a culture of widespread sexual harassment and assault, the film producer is finally facing concrete sexual harassmentramifications. New York Attorney General’s Office recently filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court, New York County against Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein, and Robert Weinstein to “remedy a years-long gender-based hostile work environment.”

The lawsuit (The People of the State of New York v. The Weinstein Company LLC, et al) comes after months of mostly symbolic punishments against the producer. He was fired from Weinstein Co. and resigned from the board in October (while continuing to profit off his 23 percent share in the company) and is said to have received sex addiction rehabilitation treatment since then.

N.Y. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began building the case after New York Times broke the story last year detailing reports of harassment, assault, and rape allegedly taking place inside Weinstein Co. as well as payouts meant to silence accusers. In addition to claims made against Harvey Weinstein, the lawsuit targets senior managers, who stand accused of ignoring complaints and enabling continued abuse. The attorney general’s investigation included an in-depth examination of e-mails and company records, which allegedly reveal gender discrimination, hostile work environment, harassment, quid pro quo arrangements, and discrimination, according to a report from Variety.Depending on its outcome, the lawsuit could end up being a victory not only for the women who allege direct harm from Weinstein, but also for the thousands of people who joined the #metoo movement, inspired by the courage exhibited by these women and bringing to light similar testimonies of misconduct all over the country.

Not all victims have the benefit of having state attorney generals or national newspapers on their side, though. That’s why it’s essential to have a an experienced legal team in your corner to protect you in cases of workplace harassment and discrimination. Our trusted sexual harassment attorneys in Los Angeles know that everyone deserves a safe workplace that is free from discrimination. Our highly skilled lawyers know how to handle these sensitive and stressful cases to put your interests first.

The lawsuit is already having broader effects on Weinstein Co. Since the filing, the planned $500-million sale of the company to an outside investor group was abruptly put on hold. And the board unanimously voted to fire President and Chief Operating Officer David Glasser, a controversial figure whose title was listed among those in the lawsuit as being complicit in misconduct. Glasser had been poised to take on the role of CEO after the company’s sale.

The timing of the filing in conjunction with the sale was of course no coincidence. The attorney general’s office wanted to make it clear to whoever took hold of the company that investigations and oversight would continue for some time. It also sought to protect employees from the same management being put in place that ignored complaints the first time around. In accordance with Government Code §12940(k), an employer has an obligation to take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment in the workplace, something this lawsuit intends to prove was not taking place at Weinstein Co.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

N.Y. Attorney General Suit Details Culture of “Harassment and Intimidation” at Weinstein Co., Feb. 11, 2018, By Cynthia Littleton, Variety

More Blog Entries:

How Harvey Weinstein’s Employers May Be Liable for His Criminal Conduct, Oct. 10, 2017, By Employment Lawyer Blog