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California life guard alleges sexual harassment

A trial date has been scheduled in connection with sexual harassment allegations brought by a life guard against Los Angeles County and a co-worker. The judge in the case dismissed part of the claim, but the remaining issues are to be heard by trial in April.

Sexual harassment allegations that will be considered include a claim that the woman was forced to work in an adverse work setting. Additionally, her claim of being stalked after reporting the adverse situation will be heard. The dismissed allegations include gender violence and battery claims. The lawyer representing the defendants insists that the entire case warrants dismissal. The woman is currently on disability after having been injured in an Aug. 2011 training session that was allegedly conducted by the co-worker. At the time, he was reportedly the supervisor on the job. The training exercise involved the man towing the life guard on a sled, during which time he allegedly piloted the watercraft at unsafe speeds, causing the injury. Her claim notes that she was instructed to provide false details of the incident.

Workers who choose to come forward in spite of threats in a sexual harassment case might worry about their safety after making a report. It may be advisable to seek the advice of counsel in preparing to initiate a claim to minimize the potential for backlash on the job or away from the work setting. A company may provide a defined protocol for reporting workplace harassment, but an employee might be intimidated for various reasons.

A lawyer may be able to provide various types of assistance to an employee who is considering sexual harassment action. There may be a need to gather evidence to coordinate a lawsuit. In some cases, a lawyer may identify whether or not a complaint is actually an example of sexual harassment. In some cases, legal action may not be warranted.

Source: Pacific Palisades Patch, "Former Lifeguard at Will Rogers Beach Alleges Sexual Harassment, Retaliation by Supervisor", Paige Austin, Feb. 25, 2015

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