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High-level executive in California sued for sexual harassment

A woman in California is suing Yahoo Inc., alleging that she was sexually harassed by her female boss. In addition to the sexual harassment allegations, the former Yahoo employee is also suing for wrongful termination. According to the complaint, which was filed on July 8, the woman worked for Yahoo as a principal software engineer in February 2013.

The woman is suing her former boss, a Yahoo Mobile senior director of engineering, and the company. She is seeking monetary and punitive damages. Before working at Yahoo, the senior director had founded a mobile company called Alike. Yahoo bought the company in 2013. A Yahoo representative wrote in an email that the accused is a model employee and that the allegations have no merit. The company is showing support for the senior director and has made it clear that they will work to prove she is innocent.

According to the complaint, the former employee stated that her performance reviews had been scored lower than was fair during two quarters in 2013 and that her former boss coerced her into performing sexual acts, saying that the employee would have a promising career at the company if she complied. The complaint specifically stated that the woman had been made to perform digital and oral sex with the senior director, and the reported harassment occurred on more than one occasion.

Sexual harassment is not taken lightly in California and is recognized as contributing to a hostile work environment. The law protects men and women from sexual harassment in the workplace. Discussing the situation with an attorney could help employees determine whether they have a solid claim for sexual harassment or wrongful termination. An attorney could then negotiate a settlement on a client's behalf or fight for a restitution in court.

Source: Reuters, "Female Yahoo executive sued for sexual harassment", Devika Krishna Kumar, July 11, 2014

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