Articles Tagged with Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer

New laws effective in 2019 will impact how courts in California weigh claims of sexual harassment, and how employers in the state address and take action. A Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney will be able to help you gain a better handle on the changes to these processes and what it might mean for new claims against individuals and employers. Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer

Five new advisory principles are now included in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), effectively meaning employers are going to face more possibility of liability for discrimination. It’s not that the laws were intended to drum up more possibility of litigation, but rather that they would improve working conditions for women and others vulnerable to sexual harassment on the job or at school.

The specific effect will be that if these five principles are applied by California courts, there will be less likelihood that those claiming to be victims of sexual harassment will have their claims dismissed prior to trial. As Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys can explain, they will still have the responsibility to prove the harassment was severe or pervasive. However, these new rules will also lessen that burden.  Continue reading

Educational institutions that receive federal funding – including colleges and universities – are bound by federal mandate (specifically, Title IX) to both report incidents of sexual violence and to track patterns of sexual assault, sexual misconduct and other behaviors that may result in a hostile working or educational environment for women – which impacts not only their physical safety and mental/ emotional health, but frequently their financial status and career prospects.sexual harassment attorney Los Angeles

Yet our L.A. sexual harassment attorneys have women on campus victimized time and again – students, adjunct professors, graduate assistants, tenured professors, deans. Universities not only fail to protect them, but in some cases further victimize them with poor policy and failure to follow the law, spurring more than a few California Title IX lawsuits in recent years.

The process by which higher education institutions handle these claims has come under scrutiny as the Trump administration and the U.S. Education Department, headed by Betsy DeVos, has proposed a new set of official policy rules on sexual assault and harassment. As The New York Times reported, if the rules become law, the result will be:

  • Narrower definition of sexual harassment;
  • School accountability allowable only when alleged conduct occurs on campus and only when formal complaints are filed first through proper authorities;
  • Heightened standard for legal standard that defines whether schools acted appropriately (no longer “preponderance of the evidence in determining suspension or expulsion, but rather the evidentiary standard of the school’s choice);
  • Compelling an informal mediation resolution process.

Meanwhile, more of these claims are filed almost every day. Continue reading

Another man in a position of prominence in the entertainment industry has been accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer ofsexual harassment CBS Corp., Les Moonves, has been accused by six women of multiple acts of sexual misconduct and retaliation after the women spoke out, according to an investigative report in The New Yorker. Other employees also came forward describing a culture within the network that allegedly regularly protected men who were accused of sexual misdeeds while paying off their accusers.

The women described a pattern of abuses beginning in the 1980s through the past decade, all with similar notes. Several alleged Moonves touched them inappropriately or forcibly kissed them during business meetings. A couple were threatened to play nice or it would mean their careers. All reported life becoming more difficult after they rejected the executive’s advances, with his hostile behavior affecting their careers either by them getting fired or their job trajectory being derailed.

The accusations are part of the ongoing wave of the #MeToo movement, which has been crashing on the shores of American businesses over the past year. This was seen most notably with the story of Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood producer accused of a long-running pattern of sexual misconduct toward women who worked with him in the movie industry. In addition to several criminal charges filed against Weinstein, he finds himself at the bottom of a growing pile of lawsuits related to his alleged behavior. Continue reading

California Senate and Assembly members will soon have a new set of rules in place by which they willsexual harassment investigate sexual harassment complaints, according to Capital Public Radio. The policy was unanimously approved by the Joint Legislative Rules Committee and was based on guidelines created by Los Angeles County. It effectively replaces the two separate policies each house was operating under previously. New standards include creation of an investigative unit, whose members would collect evidence and interview witnesses in connection to all complaints, and an external panel, whose experts would make decisions based on the evidence and recommend potential consequences. The rules have seen some revisions in recent weeks, including adding the ability to report inappropriate behavior by third parties and lobbyists who regularly interact with government workers. This would be in addition to legislative employees and lawmakers already protected by and accountable to the policy. Furthermore, a majority of the outside panel experts will be appointed by chief justice of the California Supreme Court. The panel will act separately from legislative counsel, allowing for neutral recommendations.

Before we can truly trust lawmakers to hold others accountable, they must show themselves to be trustworthy enough to hold themselves accountable. This is as true as ever in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. The past year has been eye opening in regards to the amount of sexual harassment that is taking place in work places across the country, including government offices. Roughly 150 women working for the state signed an open letter in October 2017 describing a culture of harassment and abuse in California politics. Three lawmakers in the state have stepped down due to accusations since then. Even more shocking are how many reports are being swept under the rug. That’s why we are seeing new policies cropping up all over the place.  Continue reading

In light of increased awareness of sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace, investigations and policysexual harassment revisions are happening all over the country. One congresswoman is sounding the alarm in the Department of Veterans Affairs in particular after survey numbers showed reports of sexual harassment there were higher than average across departments in the federal government. Of female respondents, 26 percent said they had experienced sexual harassment, and 14 percent of male respondents between 2014 and 2016, according to a report from Stars and Stripes. In fact, VA respondents reported the highest rates of sexual harassment, with Department of Homeland Security coming in second. This compares to 21 percent of women and 9 percent of men across federal departments as a whole. The survey collected data on a variety of behaviors, ranging from teasing to stalking and sexual assault. Gender harassment led the survey in reported incidents, with unwanted sexual attention and sexual coercion following behind.

Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH), ranking Democrat on the Veterans’s Affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigations, has called on the chairman of the subcommittee to hold a congressional oversight hearing on the matter. Her response came on the heels of findings being released by the Merit Systems Protection Board, an independent group that is housed within the executive branch whose mission is to protect the rights of government workers.  Continue reading

The story of sexual harassment in the workplace has been around since the beginning of workplaces. Yet, this past year has seen ansexual harassment explosion of accusations, resignations, and renewed policies thanks to the #MeToo Movement. People, particularly women, who once felt too vulnerable to speak up against sexual misconduct have been emboldened. These new voices have exposed a tragic pattern in workplaces across the country, and in doing so have revealed possibly the most vulnerable group of all workers: teenagers.

A Wall Street Journal report recently uncovered the concerns many parents face sending their teenagers into the workplace as the season for summer jobs is upon us. The fact that so many people are talking about sexual harassment in the workplace, which has led to stricter policies and more accountability, could lend some protection to teenagers who are starting their first jobs. However, our experienced employment attorneys know change takes time, and the problem is far from being solved.

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The story of Harvey Weinstein and the mass accusations against him of sexual misconduct has been in the news for almost six months, and in that time it has set the sexual harassmenttone for the #metoo movement and a wave of new sexual harassment policies bursting forth around the country. And now there’s potential for more people to be able to speak up again the former Hollywood producer. Weinstein Co. recently filed bankruptcy, with plans for a sale in the wings, while the board also released any non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) put into place between employees and Harvey Weinstein.

A former assistant of Weinstein has been sharing more about the NDAs as part of efforts to help curb workplace misconduct in the future, according to a report from Deadline. She told a UK parliamentary committee that employees were pressured into signing NDAs. She alleges vague threats made to her and others if they chose to speak out against alleged sexual violation committed by Weinstein. Part of why she agreed to sign the NDA, she said, was the inclusion of clauses that would keep Weinstein accountable for his actions in the future. However, she said that portion of the agreement was largely ignored. The assistant first broke her NDA last fall shortly after stories about Weinstein sparked conversations about whether non-disclosure agreements should be enforced against workers who suffered sexual harassment or exploitation. Continue reading

While the #metoo movement is shining a spotlight on sexual harassment and the dark corners of Hollywood, sexual harassmentan increasing number of civil sexual assault cases are being filed, some against former supervisors, co-workers and the institutions that protected them when they owed a duty of care to the victim.

Here in California, one former agent is battling a civil lawsuit filed by a former client alleging sexual battery and sexual harassment. The agent has asked the Los Angeles Superior Court to stay the civil case until the statute of limitations expires on the criminal case, arguing that to proceed and participate in the civil case could result in self-incrimination leading to serious felony charges, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Defendant (through his attorney) vehemently denied the allegations. Of the request to stay, his attorney explained the civil complaint read like criminal charges and  discovery requests made additional claims of criminal behavior, causing concern that testimony during the lawsuit could bring about formal charges.

This underscores the fact that many civil lawsuits may coincide with criminal charges, and while these are two totally separate processes operating independently of another (and sometimes with very different outcomes), there are times when one may have an impact on the other. A good employment law attorney will do everything possible to keep your case moving when that is in your best interests.

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In a climate where claims of sexual harassment are continually coming to the surface and stories of police wrongdoing are constantly in the news, it is refreshing to seesexual harassment people honored who have fought to protect their rights and maintain their values.

The Asbury Park-Neptune Chapter of NAACP in New Jersey recently honored two female members of the local police officers who twice filed lawsuits as a result of sexual harassment and race discrimination they allege was taking place in their police department, according to App. Long before the New York Times‘ Harvey Weinsten expose or the popularity of #MeToo on social media, these two women were standing up when it would have been so much easier to buckle under the pressure.

Their story begins in 2013 when the two reported repeated sexual harassment and discrimination. One of the plaintiffs claim a lewd magnet was stuck to her car and in a separate instance a crass message was place on her car, a vehicle she used to visit the local high school. She also alleges that she was repeatedly not given the resources she needed to properly serve the high school, such as active shooter training and access to a tactical vehicle, both of which were given to a male resource officer for the school. Plaintiffs allege in the lawsuit instances of inappropriate conversations about pornography and personal sex lives, and crude gestures.

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sexual harassmentFor months, Hollywood has been shaken by accusations of widespread harassment and sexual misconduct in the film industry. Those claims inspired people all over the country to come forward with their own stories. Now all eyes are shifting to the music industry, starting with Tennessee.

There, lawmakers have introduced a bill in hopes of closing up a loophole that has left contract workers vulnerable to harassment, according to NPR. Contract workers are left without the same protections employees receive. And since many entertainers and music professionals fall under this category, it has left the music industry particularly exposed.

HB 1984 defines an independent contractor and extends employee harassment protections, making it landmark for workers’ rights if it passes. “It is a discriminatory practice for an employer to harass an employee, an applicant, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract because of the employee’s, applicant’s, or person’s sex,” according to the bill. Continue reading