An Alabama jury found a former school superintendent guilty of sexual harassment and assault, and battery last week. Sexual harassment victims filed a civil lawsuit against the superintendent. The court found him guilty of sexual harassment under the 14th Amendment equal protection Clause. They also found him guilty of assault and battery. The jury answered yes when asked if the victim was harassed because of her sex and whether the former superintendent committed acts that created a hostile work environment.
The Victim Received an Award of Punitive Damages
While the jury did not compensate for the sexual harassment claim, they provided $25 in damages for emotional distress and mental anguish. The $25 award stems from a single hug the defendant gave the plaintiff. Allegedly, when he hugged her, he told her that he loved her, she forcefully pushed him away, and then he forcibly pulled her in, with the victim stating there was a sexual overtone to the hug.
They also provided $15,000 in punitive damages for the assault and battery and posed on the victim. A spokesperson for the victim has stated that she feels vindicated that a jury of her peers agreed that the former superintendent sexually harassed her and created a hostile work environment based on her sex.
The victim took the witness stand to describe the offensive language and behavior used by the defendant. The victim filed the lawsuit against the former superintendent himself as well as the Board of Education at the time of the sexual harassment. In January 2020, the Board of Education settled for $175,000 on the victim’s claim of alleged negligence and training, violating the fair and equal pay laws, and retaliation. The victim was also rehired to her position.
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What to Do if You are The Victim of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The case above demonstrates how challenging it can be to recover compensation after being sexually harassed in the workplace. However, we believe that all victims of sexual harassment in the workplace should obtain the compensation they deserve. That is why Heninger Garrison Davis works so hard to hold employers who violate Federal and local law accountable for their sexual harassment and the creation of a hostile work environment. Every employee has a right to feel safe and secure in their workplace.
Knowing what to do after experiencing sexual harassment can feel overwhelming. We recommend that you document all of the sexual harassment to which you are exposed. For example, if your boss offers you a promotion or better hours if you submit to the sexual harasser’s advancement, write down the details. Be sure to include the threat or offers being made to you, the date, time, place they occurred, and any witnesses to the events. Even if there are no witnesses, you can still bring a successful case against your employer.
You should also document any comments that have sexual overtones, however insignificant you think they may be. If your employer treats you differently or makes sexually based comments, take good notes of all the comments directed at you, including the date, time, and place. Make sure you keep all of your notes in a safe place so your employer cannot take them. Do not leave your notes on a work computer where they can be deleted.
We also recommend reporting harassment at work. If you are concerned about retribution and retaliation, our lawyers can help you submit the report. We can also help you ensure that you follow your company’s sexual harassment policy if they have one and report your claim to the correct individual. We recommend submitting a report in writing, and we can help you draft a report. We can also help you file a complaint with the Federal EEOC.
Your Employer Cannot Retaliate Against You
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, whether from a boss, co-worker, or customer, it is wise to discuss your case with a lawyer as soon as possible. You are not alone in experiencing sexual harassment. Many people have reported that they have experienced sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting sexual harassment. In the case mentioned above, the school district fired the victim. By submitting a lawsuit, she was able to be reinstated to her position. Under federal law, employers cannot retaliate against employees who bring sexual harassment claims or participate in an investigation against their employer.
Consult With an Alabama Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, the skilled lawyers at Heninger Garrison Davis are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can advocate for your rights.