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Man says supervisors failed to address complaints of harassment

No man or woman should ever have to be a victim of sexual harassment, especially in the workplace. In Los Angeles and throughout the entire state of California, employers are responsible for maintaining safe environments for their employees, and employers are also responsible for making sure that employees and supervisors receive proper training on workplace sexual harassment.

Of course, employers cannot control the actions of their employees, but they can make sure that complaints of sexual harassment are properly addressed and handled when these types of incidents do occur. Failing to address an employee's complaint or failing to follow through with any actions that should be taken to prevent incidents of harassment not only violates the rights of employees, but this type of negligence also violates the safety of workers.

After attempting to raise concerns about several incidents of sexual harassment and having his complaints ignored by supervisors, a former school facilities manager for the Los Angeles Unified School District has decided to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. He claims that he was harassed by a former LAUSD superintendant.

The plaintiff's lawsuit was filed earlier this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The lawsuit states that the man was hired by L.A. Unified in 2000. The plaintiff worked with another man who was serving as interim superintendent. On one occasion, shortly after being hired, the plaintiff was asked to have sex with the interim superintendent. The plaintiff refused the request.

The lawsuit states that the man who had served as interim superintendent in 2000 was hired as superintendent of LAUSD in 2008. The plaintiff says that the superintendant was "overly attentive and friendly" with him. Two years later, the plaintiff was asked to visit the superintendant's ranch. While visiting the ranch, the superintendant asked the plaintiff on numerous occasions to have sex with him.

After the trip, the plaintiff reported the incident to two supervisors. However, his supervisors failed to act on the matter. According to the lawsuit, one of the supervisors asked the plaintiff why he even wanted to complain about the incident since it could ruin the superintendant's career.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Suit accuses former LAUSD Supt. Cortines of sexual harassment," July 25, 2012

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