Articles Posted in Sexual Harassment

For “My Reality: A Hidden America,” a special “20/20” report by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, women were asked to share their experiences with sexual harassment or abuse while on the job and responses were received from all over the country.

From truck drivers to waitresses to hotel room attendants, these women shared their stories of facing horrible situations at work, offered advice to others and discussed what they see as solutions to ending sexual harassment.

One woman who delivers packages for a local delivery company from a FedEx Ground facility in Sikeston, Missouri said that for years, she was ridiculed and bullied by her supervisor who she says tried to drive her out of the mostly-male workplace.

In 2016, she filed a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and then with the EEOC. After a recent ruling, her federal harassment claims are moving forward. She’s asking for monetary damages, but she says most of all, a promise to create an environment where a woman can work with dignity.

Another woman, a waitress who was 16 years old when she got her first job as a hostess working at an IHOP franchise restaurant in Illinois said that she has been sexually harassed by two male managers.

It was only after she left the restaurant that she said she learned of 10 other women who had been working at the same franchise who claimed to have their own stories about sexual harassment and assault there. They have now filed a lawsuit against the franchise.

The franchise owner has denied all wrongdoing but gave “20/20” no further comment. The IHOP corporation said they are very concerned about any question of harassment in the workplace and hold their franchises to high standards.

One of the biggest things our Florida Sexual Harassment Attorneys at Whittel & Melton would like workers to know is that you don’t need to suffer in silence or worry that you’ll face retaliation if you come forward if you’re being sexually harassed at work. Workplace sexual harassment is illegal. In order to stop the abuse from continuing, we can help you take the proper steps to hold the employer accountable for their wrongful actions.

If you’re experiencing or have experienced sexual harassment, there are laws set in place to protect you. Federal, state and local laws protect employees from unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted sexual propositions, and working in a sexually hostile work environment.

Employers have a duty to keep their workplaces free from sexual harassment. If an employee reports sexual harassment and the company does not take the necessary action to stop it, the company can be held legally responsible.

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Coral Gables Trust Company (CGTC), a South Florida-based privately held trust company that provides wealth investment management and trust services throughout Florida, will pay $180,000 and provide significant equitable relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a female executive assistant and marketing officer was subjected to a hostile work environment based on her gender and then retaliated against after she complained. The hostile work environment included verbal and physical harassment based on her sex at CGTC’s Coral Gables office and at various locations throughout South Florida that the executive assistant visited on business trips.

Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit against CGTC in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through EEOC’s conciliation process.

The EEOC and CGTC reached an agreement to resolve the suit through a consent decree that requires the company paying $180,000 to the discrimination victim and providing her with a positive job reference. In addition, the decree requires that CGTC retain an independent equal employment opportunity consultant to investigate all complaints of sex-based harassment, discrimination or retaliation. The company must also distribute a revised policy against sex discrimination; post a notice informing employees about the suit; provide anti-discrimination training to all managers and employees; and provide individual training to the company’s chief wealth advisor. Further, CGTC agreed to designate two board members to receive future complaints of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

A spokesman for the EEOC said that “they will not only keep enforcing federal anti-harassment laws, it will also continue to encourage employers to implement and maintain robust training in order to prevent harassment from occurring in the first place.”

If you are wrongfully terminated or even demoted from your job as a result of reporting sexual harassment in your workplace, your employer could be liable for retaliation. Florida and federal laws are unmistakably clear that termination or demotion as a result of reporting harassment or discrimination is illegal.

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Mike Isabella, the Washington chef who competed on Season 6 of Bravo’s Top Chef, has been sued for sexual harassment by a former manager.

In a lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court, a woman names him and four of his business partners at Mike Isabella Concepts, alleging that they groped her, commented on the size of her rear end and labeled her with female slurs.

She alleged that she became the “target of extraordinary sex-based hostility and abuse.”

She said she was fired on Dec. 5 before one of the restaurant’s grand opening after Isabella had been allegedly drinking and called her derogatory names.

Several employees left after the alleged incident on Dec. 5 and claim there were many derogatory names thrown around by employees at the restaurant.

Isabella claims that the woman stormed off and refused to return to work.

Sexual harassment can cause extreme stress, making it hard to have a good work performance. Sexual harassment is illegal and usually creates a hostile and intimidating work environment. If you think you have been experienced sexual harassment at work, you need to seek legal help as soon as possible as there is a time limit to file a work-related claim. Our Florida Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are committed to protecting the rights of employees and making sure that justice is served.

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Celebrity chef Mario Batali has given up oversight of the daily operations at his restaurant empire following allegations of sexual misconduct over a period of at least 20 years.

The alleged incidents involve at least four women, three of whom worked for Batali.

In a prepared statement sent to The Associated Press, Batali said that the complaints “match up” with his past behavior.

“I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family,” Batali said.

A spokesperson for Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group says an employee reported inappropriate behavior by Batali in October. The company said it was the first formal complaint against Batali and that he was reprimanded and required to attend training.

Batali will also take leave from his ABC cooking show, “The Chew.”

“We have asked Mario Batali to step away from The Chew while we review the allegations that have just recently come to our attention,” the network said Monday. “ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment. While we are unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with the show, we will swiftly address any alleged violations of our standards of conduct.”

No one should have to experience sexual misconduct in the workplace. Sexual harassment leads to what is called a hostile work environment that can cause an employee to suffer from anxiety, stress and to feel powerless. Sadly, even though sexual harassment is illegal, it still occurs in many workplaces.

Sexual harassment can embody many different things. It can include sexual advances, inappropriate touching, patting, pinching, groping, or leering. Sexual harassment can also involve unsavory comments made by your boss or co-workers about your body, appearance, sexual orientation, sex life, or your clothing.  

In Florida, you have the right to work at your job without being sexually harassed by your co-worker, supervisor, boss or anyone else. You also have the right to report sexual harassment and cannot be retaliated against by your employer for doing so.

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Americans spend more time than ever before at work. Work consumes the vast majority of our time, so a problem in the workplace can have a devastating impact on an employee and their family. This could not be more true when an employee is the victim of sexual harassment, as the case below demonstrates.

Ford Motor Co. has agreed to pay up to $10.125 million to settle an investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over alleged sex and race harassment at two Ford plants, the federal agency announced.

In its investigation, the EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that personnel at two Ford facilities in the Chicago area had subjected female and African-American employees to sexual and racial harassment.

The EEOC also found that the company retaliated against employees who complained about the harassment or discrimination.

Ford chose to voluntarily resolve this issue with the EEOC, without admission of liability, to avoid an extended dispute.

The conciliation agreement provides monetary relief of up to $10.125 million to those who are found eligible through a claims process established by the agreement.

The agreement also ensures that during the next five years, Ford will conduct regular training at two of its Chicago-area facilities; continue to disseminate its anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures to employees and new hires; report to EEOC regarding complaints of harassment and/or related discrimination; and monitor its workforce regarding issues of alleged sexual or racial harassment and related discrimination.

Sexual harassment can occur in the workplace as what is called hostile work environment sexual harassment, which includes sexual gestures, physical touching, verbal or written sexual remarks, sexual jokes, and displaying sexual pictures. Sexual harassment can also occur when an employee is persuaded to perform sexual favors in return for keeping their job or getting a promotion or other work benefit.

Whatever the form of abuse, sexual harassment is not only demoralizing, but also humiliating. It can have a drastic impact on the lives of victims, causing psychological harm and financial insecurity. No employee should ever have to endure sexual harassment.

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A Pinellas County woman alleges that she suffered discrimination and harassment because of her gender while working for her former employer.

According to the woman’s complaint, she alleges she was employed as a buyer and produce manager from January 2014 until her forced resignation/constructive discharge on Jan. 7, 2016. She alleges that a co-worker attempt to grope her on Jan. 7, 2016, and that the co-worker was not reprimanded or investigated.

She is seeking reinstatement, unpaid wages, compensatory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs of this action.

While some people claim to be “huggers” or “touchy-feely,” please understand that no one has a right to hug or touch you if you are not OK with it. Unwelcome touching of a sexual nature is classified as sexual harassment under the law.

If you have been subjected to inappropriate touching in the workplace, our Pinellas County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help you take action to make it stop and hold the responsible party accountable. We will help you assert your right and seek financial damages for the personal trauma as well as financial impact the sexual harassment endured has placed on you.

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Fox News star Bill O’Reilly and the network have paid out some $13 million to five women over the past 15 years to settle a series of harassment allegations against the opinionated host, according to the New York Times.

The settlements, three of which had been previously undisclosed, were in exchange for the women’s agreement not to sue the company.

O’Reilly – the top-rated attraction on cable news for many years – generated headlines in 2004 for his dispute with Andrea Mackris, who alleged that he had harassed her repeatedly while she was a producer of his program “The O’Reilly Factor.” Mackris settled her claims for a reported payout of $9 million in 2004.

In January of this year, O’Reilly settled another harassment claim, lodged by former Fox News presenter Juliet Huddy, for an undisclosed sum.

The Times found three other complaints and payouts involving O’Reilly, dating back to 2002.

Fox settled two of them, and O’Reilly privately settled a third in 2011. The latter agreement was so secret that 21st Century Fox was unaware of it until last year, the paper said.

Fox hasn’t said whether O’Reilly was ever disciplined as a result of the allegations.

O’Reilly’s statement, posted on his website, said:

Just like other prominent and controversial people, I’m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity. In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline. But most importantly, I’m a father who cares deeply for my children and who would do anything to avoid hurting them in any way. And so I have put to rest any controversies to spare my children. Those of us in the arena are constantly at risk, as are our families and children. My primary efforts will continue to be to put forth an honest TV program and to protect those close to me.

O’Reilly and Fox continue to face allegations by former Fox personality Andrea Tantaros, who claimed, in a lawsuit filed last summer, that O’Reilly sexually harassed her.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. Sadly, many employees fear taking because they are afraid of losing their much-needed jobs. Sexual harassment needs to be reported, though. In many cases, the harassment can escalate quickly and lead to a hostile work environment. When it gets to this point, you are unable to do your job and earn your living.

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Almost 250 women and men are making sexual harassment claims against one of the nation’s largest jewelry companies, Sterling Jewelers, which operates under the name of Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.

Claims of demeaning women and encouraging sexual discrimination are sweeping headlines.

Among the declarations, there are reports of a rape, male managers cavorting in a swimming pool with topless female employees at a mandatory manager’s conference and a witness who tells of a male manager suggesting that a female co-worker swipe a credit card between her breasts.

The declarations portray Sterling Jewelers as fostering a workplace where senior men treated young saleswomen as sexual objects, including groping, demeaning and demanding sex in return for better jobs and job security.

These declarations are part of a private class-action arbitration case first filed in 2008. It alleged female employees at the conglomerate were routinely sexually harassed, paid less and passed over for promotion at Sterling, which operates close to 1,500 stores in the United States.

There are statements that have come to light that describe top male managers at the company sending “scouting” parties to stores to find female staffers to target for sex.

The managers so frequently demanded sex from female workers in exchange for better positions within the company that there was an internal phrase for it called “going to the big stage.”

The class-action case includes 69,000 current and former females employees of Sterling.

Requests for sexual favors and physical conduct of a sexual nature are all forms of sexual harassment. If you are being harassed by being asked or told to perform sexual favors, call our Florida Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Whittel & Melton at 866-608-5529 to discuss your case. Your consultation is always free and everything discussed is kept fully confidential.

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A top engineering executive at Uber is gone just five weeks after his hire was announced. According to a report, the man failed to disclose that he’d left his previous job at Google because of a sexual harassment allegation.

The man denied the allegation and said he left Google a year ago for his own reasons.

This is just the latest turmoil at Uber. Last week, Uber found itself wrapped up in an unrelated sexual harassment catastrophe that stemmed from a detailed essay published by a former female Uber engineer, who charged that her prospects at the company evaporated after she complained about sexual advances from her boss. In the post about her year at Uber, the woman said that the company’s human resources department ignored her complaints because her boss was a high performer.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has called for an independent investigation of those issues, and the company has hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to help.

The hashtag #DeleteUber is making a comeback with this news.

Sexual harassment is something that no employee should ever have to tolerate at their place of work. When harassment happens on the job, it results in a hostile work environment. When someone must perform job duties in a hostile workplace, they may suffer from mental anguish and/or not be able to complete their work tasks. If their productivity drops, they could lose their job.

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A former employee of Idaho State University has settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against the school for $170,000.

In the lawsuit, the woman accused her former Idaho State boss, now a University of South Florida professor, of forcibly kissing her and grabbing her buttocks in her campus office in 2013.

She also insisted the university retaliated when she complained by reassigning her to a job in a basement storage room without a computer, phone or specific tasks to accomplish.

The decision to end the lawsuit was made in December, but the final paperwork was finished this month.

ISU issued this statement: “All parties are satisfied with the resolution reached. ISU is committed to the equal treatment, safety and well-being of all of its students and employees.”

The woman was a 28-year-old graduate student, working as an education coordinator for the university’s Museum of Natural History when the sexual harassment occurred. Her boss gave her unwanted attention for months before groping her, according to the suit.

After she filed a complaint, the woman was placed on administrative leave as the school investigated. Officials concluded she was telling the truth. Then she was placed in the basement office.

In 2014, she quit and sued the university for civil and human rights violations. Idaho State failed to have the lawsuit dismissed and, after a trial was scheduled, agreed to settle.

The woman’s 57-year-old boss left Idaho State in 2015 for a job at USF.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not a thing of the past. In fact, it is a problem that claims countless victims every day across the United States. There are two types of sexual harassment that fall under discrimination. The first, any unwanted touching, comments, jokes and other wrongful behavior that is continuous. The second involves sexually demands, such as demands for dates or sex in return for a promotion, a raise, or threats of retaliation unless the sexual act is carried out.

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