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Los Angeles workers need to understand costs of sexual harassment

Los Angeles and Long Beach workers are probably already well aware of their basic rights in the workplace when it comes to sexual harassment. Workers have a right to file a complaint with their employers when a supervisor, colleague or other employee says or does anything that is sexually inappropriate. Workers also have a right to take legal action when employers fail to properly handle harassment complaints.

Before a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace does choose to take legal action against an employer for promoting a hostile work environment, the victim may want to consult an employment law attorney who will help him or her proceed with a case in the most effective and strategic manner as possible. This is important because victims of harassment may be entitled to obtain compensation for damages resulting from an employer's wrongdoings.

When an employee is sexually harassed in the workplace, he or she may suffer physical harm as well as emotional pain and suffering. This type of harm is especially devastating when employers accuse a sexual harassment victim of lying about the harassment or when employers ignore complaints. Some victims may feel forced to leave their jobs. Others might suffer from depression. No worker should have to go through this, but if they do, they should understand that they do deserve to be compensated fairly for their suffering.

As several recently settled lawsuits in California suggest, the amount an employee may be entitled to recover after filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against an employer can be significant. According to Insurance Journal, it is not uncommon for employers to be ordered to pay thousands or even millions of dollars in damages when employees file sexual harassment lawsuits. The online publication claims that these types of complaints usually result in higher settlements and jury awards for employees compared to other types of employee lawsuits.

According to Insurance Journal, the highest workplace harassment judgment reached within the last 12 months in U.S. involved a California hospital. The hospital has been ordered to pay $168 million for sexual harassment.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Top 25 workplace harassment, bias settlements," Oct. 16, 2012

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