Articles Tagged with sexual harassment

One does not necessarily need to be a direct target of California workplace sexual harassment or racial discrimination to file a legal claim for damages. Retaliation against bystanders for brining such offenses to light can have a devastating impact on one’s career. Employers have been known to respond to bystander reports of harassment and discrimination by giving whistleblowers less desirable shifts or duties, shutting them out from key professional opportunities/accounts/clients, or outright firing them.Riverside sexual harassment lawyer

Fortunately, as our Riverside sexual harassment attorneys can explain, there are legal remedies for those who speak out to protect those most vulnerable in the workforce. One such case recently ended with a $460 million damage award to two plaintiffs in Los Angeles who alleged they were forced out of their jobs at the local electricity company after blowing the whistle on rampant sexual harassment and tolerance of racial epithets.

The Los Angeles Times reported the damage award included $440 million in punitive damages alone. Plaintiff attorney’s had only asked the court for a quarter of that amount. That’s on top of tens of millions in compensatory damages paid. Punitive damages, for those who may not know, are paid to penalize the defendant for especially egregious conduct. Compensatory damages, meanwhile, are intended to cover a plaintiff’s actual losses (loss of wages, loss of benefits, loss of career advancement opportunities, emotional distress, etc.).

The company, which plans to appeal, acknowledged that the two reported that supervisors were engaging in sexually inappropriate conduct toward female employees. Plaintiffs alleged that the company had fostered a fraternity-like culture, where sexual harassment and racial harassment were not only the norm, but actively protected. Reported incidents were allegedly disregarded. Continue Reading ›

A popular video game maker is attempting to narrow the definition of the California sex discrimination law as defined by state law to exclude temporary workers. So far, the effort isn’t going well, as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge provisionally denied the employer’s request. Still, that isn’t a final ruling, so it’s still possible the question could be revived – or ultimately appealed. Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer

Activision, which makes games like Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, World of Warcraft, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater, has been the target of a tidal wave of gender discrimination claims. Our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers have been monitoring the legal developments, and this case in particular was filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing on behalf of female workers.

The company alleges the state erroneously expanded the employment lawsuit recently when it filed an amended complaint that included not only current and former female employees, but temporary employees and contingent workers. Lawyers for the defense say they were never notified of the state’s investigation into these workers before litigation was filed. This, the attorneys say, was a violation of the company’s due process rights. Continue Reading ›

A new California sexual harassment lawsuit has rocked the gaming world, with an avalanche of dissent and claims of “frat boy culture” dominating descriptions of Activision Blizzard, the video gaming company that own games like “Call of Duty,” “Candy Crush” and “World of Warcraft.” Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer

The upheaval and high-profile exit is reminiscent of what our Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyers have noted in the culture of the gaming industry (long noted for its misogyny), but some are speculating this could have reverberations throughout the tech world and even corporate America.

This all started with a California sexual harassment lawsuit filed last month by the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. According to the complaint, multiple female employees were subjected to gender discrimination, sexual harassment and unequal pay. Company executives reportedly were aware of the harassment and other problems, but failed to take reasonable steps to halt illegal conduct. Instead, the lawsuit alleges, the company retaliated against the complainants. Continue Reading ›

California sexual harassment claims against Oscar-nominated actor James Franco by former film students were recently settled for $2.2 million. The students allege that they were sexually harassed and coaxed into performing increasingly explicit on-camera sex scenes. They further alleged that as students at his film school, they were victims of fraud. Plaintiffs include one of five women who went on the record with the Los Angeles Times in 2018 to detail allegations of on-set behavior that was sexually exploitative or at least inappropriate.sexual harassment lawyer

Franco, 43, has denied the allegations repeatedly. But allegations of his inappropriate and possibly predatory behavior with young women were swirling even before the #MeToo movement gained traction. For example, in a 2014 Instagram exchange, he pursued a 17-year-old girl from Britain he’d met outside a theater, asking her about details of the hotel room where she was staying – even after he found out how old she was. When those messages later when public, he released a statement saying he was “embarrassed” and calling social media “tricky.”

In the most recent lawsuits, plaintiffs allege Franco set up his educational institute as a means to pursue young women and sexually exploit them. Those who cooperated with him were reportedly led to believe that doing so would land them roles in his movies. Plaintiffs allege the defendant coerced them during a “master class on sex scenes” into participating in sexual activity that was gratuitous while denying them protections actors and actresses would typically have as professionals with nudity riders. (Such riders protect film professionals from coercion and exploitation.) Continue Reading ›

An online complaint of sexual harassment endured by workers at art gallery fundraisers that has garnered a groundswell of support, the San Diego Union-Tribune recently reported. Submitted to Change.org as a signature drive, a former attendant at the San Diego Museum of Art alleged the organization routinely hosts booze-fueled fundraisers wherein guests feel free to grope female workers. Rather than protecting their employees, the complaint alleges, officials at the museum blamed staff and refused to consider adoption of policies that would stop them from being subjected to sexual harassment and abuse on-the-job. It seemed the concerns of women of color in particular were outright dismissed. Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer

The complainant reported that they should not have to feel unsafe coming to work as, “We are not nightclub workers.”

Of course, it’s the position of our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys that no worker should feel unsafe coming to work for fear of sexual harassment – whether that workplace is in a nightclub, restaurant, office, airplane, tomato field or art museum. Continue Reading ›

The hotel industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The Chateau Marmont in Hollywood is no exception, so it was no great shock when hundreds of employees were laid off in the wake of tanking bookings. But in the months since, speculation has increased that the layoffs may have been more of a calculated effort to tamp down unionization efforts by staffers, several of whom allege flagrant workplace racial discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. racial discrimination

The Hollywood Reporter published an investigation into these claims against the landmark hotel late last year after speaking to more than 30 employees. In a recent follow-up, the publication revealed several employment lawsuits have been filed against the company and former CEO, who himself was accused of sexual misconduct by at least five employees.

The story is notable because dozens of employees broke the hospitality industry’s widely accepted code of silence to shine a light on what they say was longstanding racial discrimination and sexual misconduct that managers and owners were complicit in brushing aside, if not in perpetuating it themselves. The former owner firmly denied the allegations, but now will have to answer to some of them in court. Continue Reading ›

As we usher in a new year, many will remember 2020 as a year of significant challenges. In the arena of employment law, we recognize that America’s workplaces have long been plagued by discrimination and harassment. In the last 20 years, virtually all of the country’s biggest companies have paid to settle at least one claim of sexual harassment and/or discrimination. That’s according to Good Jobs First, and bear in mind: Those are only the cases that were publicly reported.gender discrimination lawyer

Federal and state laws prohibit sex-based harassment and discrimination. Despite this, companies in the U.S. still only pay women $0.082 on average for every dollar men are paid. Black women are paid even less. This wage gap has budged very little since 2000.

The U.S. EEOC in 2019 received more than 70,000 complaints of discrimination on the basis of sex, age, religion, race and disability. More than 7,500 complaints of sexual harassment were made during that time.

One positive thing about 2020 was that it gave further rise to the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements, empowering workers to increasingly turn to courts for employer accountability for violations of civil rights, discriminatory work practices and work environments. Some of those claims over last three years have involved huge companies paying multi-million dollar settlements in cases that made big headlines.

Here, we take a look back at the highest profile sexual harassment and gender discrimination cases of 2020.

Amazon. Amazon was hit with numerous employment lawsuits in 2020. In February, a former manager in charge of hiring sued after she says her boss asked her to comb applicants’ Facebook and Instagram accounts to glean information about their race and gender. When she complained, she says, she was fired. The company was also accused of harassment and retaliation after demoting and later denying promotion to a transgender man after he revealed his pregnancy.

Bloomberg LP. The media company was accused of allowing the longtime and widespread sexual harassment of ex-CBS host Charlie Rose. Eight women worked for or aspired to work for the host in the 90s, 2000s and 2010s. Rose’s show aired on both PBS and Bloomberg TV. Although some of the plaintiffs in the case against Bloomberg have already settled with CBS, they allege Bloomberg was complicit. Rose owned his own production company, but operated within Bloomberg headquarters. Many operations for Rose’s company (including payments and benefits) were managed by Bloomberg. The employees now suing Bloomberg say they were jointly employed both by Rose and Bloomberg, a point likely to be hotly contested.

Disney. A gender-based pay discrimination lawsuit filed in 2019 is still ongoing, and was joined by several other former employees last year. Ten executives in all allege rampant gender pay discrimination as of March 2020. The newest claim alleged that her $75,000 starting salary at the company was far less than a male colleague’s starting salary. She further alleged she was passed over on promotions, given smaller raises on average and dissuaded from discussing gender discrimination complaints with the CEO by a top female executive.

FOX News. Former host Ed Henry was accused of a violent sexual assault of a former producer. Another employee alleged Henry sexually harassed her, as did several other high-profile hosts. The network was reportedly made aware of these claims, but did nothing to intervene or stop them. Henry is no longer employed by the network. It was just a few years ago that the network settled with Gretchen Carlson for $20 million over claims of sexual harassment by the company’s former chairman, Roger Ailes.

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Female employees for a taco chain in the Rancho Cucamonga area will be awarded $1.25 million in an EEOC settlement for allegations of years-long sexual harassment and retaliation.Rancho Cucamonga sexual harassment lawyer

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit alleged that a general manager and shift leader who both worked at several stores in Rancho Cucamonga subjected young female workers to sexual harassment daily. Their behavior included vulgar comments, unwelcome physical contact and propositions for sex.

Our Rancho Cucamonga sexual harassment lawyers understand the behavior was so prevalent that other male workers felt welcome to join in and perpetuate it on their own. The EEOC alleged that when the female workers complained, supervisors failed to take appropriate action. Instead, workers felt they had no choice but to quit if they wanted to escape their hostile work environment. Continue Reading ›

A new comprehensive analysis conducted by the National Women’s Law Center and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund shines a light on several difficult truths about workplace sexual harassment. Key among those: More than 7 in 10 survivors of workplace sexual harassment (nearly three-quarters) suffer some type of retaliation. This aligns with EEOC sexual harassment claims data indicating 72 percent of employees reporting sexual harassment also report retaliation. Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer

As our Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys can explain, retaliation can include:

  • Denial of promotions.
  • Transfer to a less desirable location or assignment with more burdensome tasks.
  • Receiving harsher treatment from supervisors.
  • Wrongful termination.
  • Civil litigation for defamation.

Of those who reported sexual harassment and were retaliated against, more than one-third were terminated. One-fifth had their work or behavior heavily scrutinized or were given bad performance reviews.

The report, called “Coming Forward,” looked at more than 3,300 online requests for legal services nearly three years into the #MeToo movement. It reveals that even as awareness of sexual harassment at work has increased, many victims are still at a distinct disadvantage. Continue Reading ›

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that sexual harassment, verbal abuse and gender discrimination are the catalysts mostly responsible for the high rates of burnout among female doctors.doctor gender discrimination

Physicians in general have high rates of burnout, defined just this year by the World Health Organization as a condition characterized by cynicism, emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue and reduced productivity resulting from unmanaged job-related stress. What this new study suggests is the problem is even greater for doctors who are women, and surgical residents in particular.

Another recent survey conducted by physician staffing firm Merritt Hawkins showed that more than three-quarters of female physicians responded in the affirmative when asked whether they had experienced gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Continue Reading ›

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