Posts Tagged ‘Sexual Comments’
Brooklyn, NY- Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez has been involved in a sexual harassment scandal for the better part of a year or more, but details of the allegations against him remained relatively unknown until now that two reports on his conduct have been released.
The Joint Committee on Public Ethics has completed their investigation and concluded that not only was Lopez a serial harasser, but the State Assembly took steps to keep the many allegations against him secret and allowed the misconduct to persist for several months, the New York Post reported.
According to the 67-page JCOPE report, Lopez harassed at least eight women who worked for him in his Brooklyn office, and awarded those, who were compliant with raises and gifts, while trying to sabotage those who were resistant, the Post reported.
The scathing report states that Lopez forced female staffers to massage his tumors—Lopez is suffering from cancer— and asked they spend the night with him in hotels as well as repeatedly groped them. The overly frisky lawmaker also asked the women, who were mostly younger in their late teens and early 20’s, to wear low-cut blouses and skimpy clothing to the office.
The Post detailed the allegations of one woman who said Lopez forced her to massage tumors on his neck, shoulder and armpits, cajoling her by saying that he “was dying” and “needed her.” The report also stated that Lopez would “force intimate contact” by repeatedly rubbing the women’s thighs and subjected then to persistent sexual comments and advances.
One woman even contracted pink eye after Lopez forced her to put drops in his infected eyes.
When a 14 year-old girl was hired to intern in the politician’s office, another woman overheard the 71 year-old pol complain about the state’s statutory rape law as he admired the young woman, the Post reported.
On top of the pattern of harassment, Lopez would shower the women who endured his behavior with gifts, raises and promotions, while trying to punish the women who complained about the harassment.
“Lopez engaged in a pervasive pattern of abuse of public office and resources, not for personal financial gain, but to indulge his personal whims and desires,” the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics wrote.
Not only was Lopez’s behavior inappropriate, but another report from the Staten Island’s Attorney General Dan Donovan found that the NY Assembly, Sheldon Silver in particular, attempted to keep the harassment secret and allowed it to persist for several months before taking action. Even worse is they refused to forward the case to their own ethics committee, subjecting more women to Lopez’s vile behavior.
“My investigation revealed that . . . the chief concern of those in the Assembly was mitigating the Assembly’s damages,” Donovan wrote. “That goal outweighed any interest in investigating or disciplining Assembly Member Lopez or in preventing similar occurrences in the future.”
Though Donovan’s report accused both Lopez and the Assembly of unethical behavior, he did not find their actions to be criminal; stating that the $103,000 secret settlement paid to two of the harassed women was appropriately negotiated and awarded.
Cary, North Carolina- Going to work can be stressful even if a person loves their job; it’s just a fact of life. For thousands of workers in North Carolina, work isn’t just stressful; it can cause them a great deal of anxiety and even depression because they are being sexually harassed by a coworker or a supervisor. But North Carolinians don’t have to tolerate a hostile work environment and can steps to stop it.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receives and average of 13,000 complaints of sexual harassment or discrimination each year. Sexual harassment costs nationwide businesses close to $40 million each year in enforcement and damage settlements, so training is the key to stopping harassment.
Even with training, many people continue to engage in this type of workplace misconduct and the victims need a way to redress their complaints. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 lays out the legal recourse for victims of sexual harassment.
First North Carolinians need to understand what exactly sexual harassment constitutes. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination where one employee makes sexually inappropriate comments or jokes, solicits sexual favors, or touches another without their consent, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Typically, sexual harassment cases are divided into two categories; “hostile work environment” and “quid pro quo.”
“Hostile workplace” harassment occurs when one or more person’s sexual comments, solicitations and unwanted touching is so pervasive that it makes the workplace uncomfortable, abusive or hostile for the targeted employee.
The second type of harassment, “quid pro quo” happens when one person, typically holding a superior, solicits sexual favors from another employee in an exchange for promotions, raises or job security.
Under North Carolina law, called the Unlawful Workplace Harassment Policy, an employee who is being harassed has thirty days from the event to file a complaint with their employer. The employer must then investigate the incident and then take appropriate action.
This policy is helpful in some cases, but too often victims of harassment find that their employers don’t take their allegations seriously or fail to adequately discipline the offender. In North Carolina if the complainant is not satisfied with how their employer handled their allegations or they were retaliated against—meaning they were fired, denied promotions, or further harassed after they formally complained– they must file another complaint with the Office of Administrative Hearings and the State Personnel Commission for further action.
The harassed employee also has the right to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If the pattern of harassment is repeated and pervasive, or the victim was punished for filing a complaint, they can then choose to file a suit with assistance of the EEOC or a private attorney.
A lawsuit ensures the harassment victim is compensated for their emotional distress and loss of wages. To be absolutely certain the complainant gets the maximum settlement they deserve, it is in their best interest to hire Cary, North Carolina sexual harassment attorney.
New York, NY- New York law firm, Faruqi & Faruqi, famous for taking on Wall Street, has filed a $15 million defamation suit against a former employee, who accused a partner of sexual harassment and forcing her to engage in a sexual act.
Last month, Alexandra Marchuk, a junior attorney with the firm, filed a scandalous sexual harassment lawsuit against the firm and partner Juan Monteverde.
Marchuk’s lawsuit alleges that Monteverde subjected her to inappropriate sexual comments and advances on a number of occasions beginning shortly after she began working for the firm and continued throughout her tenure. Marchuk said the ongoing harassment in resulted in a sexual assault in December of 2011. According to the lawsuit, Monteverde lured Marchuk into one of the firm’s offices and forced her to have sex with him, when she asked him to stop he refused and continued the assault.
In response to Maurchuk’s suit, Faruqi & Faruqi said her claims were without merit and were filed by a disgruntled employee. They vowed to fight the claims in court, they didn’t stop there; this week the firm filed a $15 million defamation lawsuit accusing Machuk of lying and using her sexual harassment suit to extort money from the firm, the New York Times reported.
In the suit, filed in a Manhattan Superior court, Faruqi & Faruqi, stated that Marchuk damaged the reputation of the firm, denying all accusations against Monteverde. “In fact, however, there was no sexual intercourse, forced or otherwise; there was no sexual harassment, and there were no complaints,” court documents obtained by the NY Times said. “Marchuk’s claims are false.”
Along with denying the accusations, the firm’s defamation suit included a detailed account of the relationship between Marchuk and Monteverde, painting the junior lawyer as a woman obsessed with her boss who initiated all sexual contact, including the assault in December.
Just after Marchuk began working with the firm she accompanied Monteverde on trip during which the firm says she engaged in consensual kissing and fondling with Monteverde and even invited him to her room for sex.
The incident in December, where Monteverde allegedly “quickly, forcefuly and painfully had sex” with Marchuk at a holiday party was initiated by her. The lawsuit claims Marchuk didn’t wear a bra or panties to the event, and was seen kissing and groping Monteverde by numerous employees, Business insider reported. She also performed oral sex on Monteverde because he was drunk and was unable to get an erection, the suit says, adding “Monteverde didn’t resist.”
In a statement given to Above the Law, Faruqi & Faruqi admitted Monteverde make a terrible mistake. “Although he exercised very poor judgment and has been disciplined by F&F, we are convinced that he did not commit sexual harassment, that our firm is not a hostile workplace…”
Marchuk’s attorney, Harry Lipman told the Business Times the defamation suit was “frivolous” including allegations which are “ a desperately telling attempt to blame the victim.”
New York, NY- The small New York Law firm Faruqi & Faruqi, who took on Wall Street in a number of lawsuits , is now facing a legal battle of their own after a former employee accused a junior attorney of sexual harassment and assault.
Faruqi & Faruqi made plenty of enemies on Wall Street by challenging executive pay, mergers and acquisitions. The firm pioneered the “say on pay” lawsuit headed by the efforts of attorney and partner Juan E. Monteverde, who is named as the defendant in the harassment lawsuit, the Business Insider reported.
The lawsuit was filed by a young female lawyer with the firm, Alexandra Marchuk, and detailed a number of salacious allegations against Monteverde accusing him of a pattern of harassment, which included inappropriate sexual comments and advances that culminated in an assault at a holiday party in 2011.
Above the Law, a popular legal blog first broke the story and detailed Ms. Marchuk’s allegations in which she said the harassment by Monteverde began almost immediately after she began working for the firm in September of 2011.
According to the lawsuit, Marchuk just days after she began working for the firm accompanied Monteverde to Delaware for a case, which led to an uncomfortable and troubling incident when the two attorneys went for drinks one night after court.
“After several more drinks at Lex Bar, Mr. Monteverde aggressively grabbed and kissed Ms. Marchuk and attempted to fondle her breasts. Ms. Marchuk physically rebuffed Mr. Monteverde’s advances. Mr. Monteverde then asked Ms. Marchuk to go back to F&F’s offices with him to have sex. Ms. Marchuk rejected the offer and went home. She had no romantic interest in Mr. Monteverde and was greatly troubled that her sole supervising attorney was making wildly inappropriate sexual advances to her on only her third day of full time employment at F&F,” the lawsuit said according to Above the Law.
Despite the rejection Monteverde continued to harass Marchuk asking her to be his mistress. He also asked her to wear seductive and “alluring” clothing to another hearing in Delaware, because the judge “her good looks would influence the judge” in the firm’s favor.
The 24 page lawsuit lists a number of other incidents of sexual harassment, but the final straw for Marchuk came in December of 2011. According to her allegations, while the holiday party raged on, Monteverde asked Marchuk to come to his office and discuss a bonus which he did not plan on giving her. Once in Monteverde’s office, the young attorney said he assaulted her.
“After entering his office, Mr. Monteverde pushed Ms. Marchuk to the floor and quickly, forcefully, and painfully had sex with her. Suffering discomfort and not wanting to continue having sex with him, Ms. Marchuk implored Mr. Monteverde to stop, but he disregarded her pleas and continued having sex with her,” the lawsuit said.
Faruqi & Faruqi vehemently denies the allegations brought for by Maruchuk. Partner Lubna M. Faruqi told Above the Law, “These claims are completely without merit, brought by a disgruntled former employee. We look forward to aggressively defending our reputation in court and have every confidence we will be vindicated.”
Whether or not Ms. Marchuk’s allegations are true or not, sexual harassment cases in which a person with a powerful position takes advantage of a subordinate are by no means rare.
According to the Jackson Clarion Register, attorneys along with Magistrate Michael T. Parker negotiated behind closed doors for several hours on Monday before they reached an agreement.
In February of last year Kenya Burks who worked as Winfield’s chief of staff filed a lawsuit accusing the Mayor of sexually harassing her after they ended a consensual intimate relationship, and subjected her to a hostile work environment, the Clarion Register reported.
Winfield denied he and Burks had a relationship.
Burks named him and the city of Vicksburg in the suit initially asking for $1.5 million in damages, but attorneys would not say what the final settlement was.
Winfield is facing another legal battle where he has been accused of taking bribes for city contracts.
So why do municipalities and businesses frequently settle sexual harassment cases out of court?
Thousands of sexual harassment complaints are filed each year and a large majority of those complaints result in lawsuits. But municipalities and businesses would prefer to settle these cases out of court.
When Human Resources of any company receive a complaint of sexual harassment they have a responsibility to investigate any allegations regardless of how trivial they may seem. If the incident is a onetime thing such as an off-collar joke, a simple reprimand can suffice and end the problem there.
But too often sexual harassment isn’t just a onetime event; the behavior can be more pervasive and the sexual comments and innuendos can last for days, months even years. It can be particularly toxic to the work environment when a superior offers promotions and other benefits in exchange for sex.
Any allegation has to be investigated and Human Resources will investigate. If the allegations ring true then the offending employee can be fired, but this may not keep the victim to
When faced with a sexual harassment suit, some businesses choice to settle even if the allegations are not solid, or they discover the offender may actually be innocent of harassment. It leaves many to wonder why they would settle.
A sexual harassment lawsuit can be costly. Many companies would prefer to settle simply because it will save them tens of thousands to hundreds of thousand dollars in legal fees and if a court sides on the victim’s behalf they will have to pay out even more. Though a sexual harassment settlement can cost the company thousands to millions, it’s preferable over being engaged in a lengthy court battle, which is costly regardless of whether the court sides with the plaintiff.
There is another cost to sexual harassment and that is to the businesses reputation. A publicized sexual harassment case can give the company a bad name and settling the case whether they believe the accuser or not will help them preserve their good reputation.
Billionaire Alfred Taubman Hit with a $29 Million Sexual Harassment Lawsuit from Former Flight AttendantNovember 30th, 2012 Posted in Sexual Harassment News
Detroit, MI- Mall developer and billionaire A. Alfred Taubman is being sued by a former employee who alleges that he subjected her to repeated unwanted sexual behavior for a number of years while she worked as a flight attendant for Taubman Air Terminals in the Waterford Township.
The woman, Nicole D. Rock, filed her lawsuit alleging Taubman was guilty of numerous civil rights and other violations.
In her lawsuit, Rock stated she worked for Taubman Air Terminals between the years of 2005 and 2011, during which the 88 year-old mogul would grope her along with make lewd and inappropriate comments. The abusive behavior occurred while she was attending flights on Taubman’s private jet.
According to the suit, “The sexual comments, innuendos, advances and offensive conduct by defendant Taubman were demeaning, insulting and created a burdensome and oppressive condition of employment for plaintiff,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
Rock alleges that in some incidents Taubman would grab her breasts or crotch, forcibly tried to kiss her, pulled at her clothes, yelled sexual comments at her and hassled her about her private sex life.
Late in 2009, Rock informed Taubman that she would need to take maternity leave, but according to the lawsuit Taubman “expressed his personal objections to the plaintiff going on (maternity) leave, stating ‘she was lucky to be working for him and she was taking a long vacation.’”
When Rock did take leave in February of 2010, the suit claims that she was ordered back to work in March 2010, sooner than she expected. Once back at work the sexual harassment continued.
Rock was forced to take a leave of absence in February 2011 after the stress of the abusive behavior became too much. The suit said the Rock took leave “due to the extreme stress, anxiety, fearfulness and depression she was experiencing due to the unlawful working conditions that she was being forced to endure.”
Her lawsuit states that she objected to Taubman’s behavior, but neither she nor her supervisors at the company could do anything to stop the behavior.
Rock and her attorney is seeking $29 million for emotional distress and her loss of “benefits, seniority and career opportunities with defendants as well as further opportunities with other prospective employers.”
But Taubman, not unexpectedly, denies Rock’s claims. A formal statement released by Taubman’s offices said, “The allegations contained in the complaint filed this morning against A. Alfred Taubman are not true. Mr. Taubman will address the complaint through the appropriate legal channels.”
Taubman is not the only powerful businessman to face allegations of sexual harassment this month. Just a couple of weeks ago, the CEO, Joseph Rogers, of the legendary Southern diner Waffle House was also accused of sexually harassing his personal assistant, for a period of ten years. The unidentified women said he repeatedly requested she have sex with him.
Rock and the unidentified woman who worked for the Waffle House CEO both tolerated the abusive sexual harassment for years, leaving some to wonder why they would put up with that for that long.
Both of these women feared they would lose their jobs, their livelihoods. And it is common for employers to fire or otherwise punish workers who report or speak out about sexual harassment; this is called retaliation.
When a man or woman in a powerful position uses that power to garner sexual favors from their employees it is referred to as quid pro quo harassment and is very common. Many victims of sexual harassment cannot afford to lose their jobs so they often ignore or simply accept the harassment because they feel powerless.
A legendary New York steakhouse is paying $600,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim. Sparks Steak House, the site of a mafia murder in the 1980s, is settling after a male manager was accused of sexually harassing 22 male waiters at the restaurant. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Sparks Steak House failed to stop the unwanted sexual conduct that took place over nearly eight years. The manager was accused of groping the male waiters, making lewd sexual comments to them and trying to touch their genitals.
Some of the waiters complained about the incidents, but the harassment persisted. The EEOC also said that some of the victims who came forward were retaliated against.
While many people may think sexual harassment is something that occurs between opposite sexes, with the woman as the victim, according to the EEOC, roughly 16 percent of all sexual harassment incidents reported are filed by men. The agency explains it has filed an increasing number of lawsuits involving male victims and hopes to send a message that any type of unwanted sexual misconduct is unacceptable.
Aside from the monetary settlement, Sparks has been ordered to establish a hotline for reporting discrimination and sexual harassment, update their sexual harassment policy and conduct anti-discrimination training for employees.
Have you been the victim of discrimination or harassment? If so, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your pain and suffering with the help of a sexual harassment attorney.
Sexual harassment can be anything from a mild joke to a serious physical attack. Regardless of what you have been through, trust that sexual harassment lawyers will work diligently to help you obtain justice. Contact an attorney near you today to discuss your options and file a case.
HONOLULU, HI — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against a Senor Frog’s bar and restaurant chain, accusing its CEO and other executives and managers of sexually harassing female employees.
The Waikiki Senior Frogs location has shut down following the sexual harassment claims. The complaint alleges male managers would grope female workers and would demanding sex from them. In addition, the lawsuit claims managers at the location would make inappropriate and offensive sexual comments on a daily basis.
“One of the reasons we were so concerned about this case is we saw this harassing behavior permeated up to the most senior levels of management. That was a real problem and a real concern for us,” said Amrita Mallik, a senior trial attorney for the commission. “This was a company that seemed to disregard the rights of the women who worked there.”
There were a total of nine alleged victims, most of which were in their teens and early twenties. The managers allegedly also retaliated against them after they complained of the harassment, by giving them fewer shifts and hours.
Have you been the target of sexual harassment? If so, there is something you can do to make sure the unwanted behaviors stop immediately – turn to a sexual harassment lawyer and file a case.
Sexual harassment lawyers do everything in their power so your case can end with the best possible outcome. They will fight to make sure the offender is brought to justice and so you can receive compensation for your pain and suffering.
Don’t suffer in a hostile work environment any longer. Turn to a sexual harassment attorney to file a case and protect your right to a safe and discrimination-free workplace.
HOUSTON, TX – A Harris County woman has filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit after claiming she was terminated from her position for reporting incidents.
Valeri Devere filed a lawsuit claiming she was terminated from her position at Forfeiture Support Associates LLC for reporting sexual harassment. According to court papers submitted on Oct. 30 before the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, Devere believes she was fired for “no legitimate reason” and “in retaliation for opposing an unlawful employment practice by making complaints about the inappropriate sexual comments.”
Devere was employed as a records examiner/analyst for the Houston area office of the Virginia-based government contracting agency. She alleges the harassment began in October 2009 when an Immigrant and Customs Enforcement special agent named David Harrison “made inappropriate and cruel comments of a sexual nature which made [her] very uncomfortable.”
She claims the agent brought up the subject of her deceased husband and remarked how she “[has not] had sex in over a year,” after which Devere filed a formal complaint.
The suit states that Harrison, who is not listed as a defendant, was the subject of an investigation which led to the retaliation. Devere claims she was placed under the supervision of someone acquainted with the alleged harasser, who then claimed she “was resistant to change and was refusing to perform certain types of work.”
Devere denies this and is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
Have you been the victim of unwanted sexual behavior or assault? Have you been forced to endure a hostile work environment? If so, turn to a sexual harassment lawyer immediately to file a case.
Your sexual harassment attorney will see to it you obtain compensation for your pain and suffering and that your assailant is brought to justice. Call to schedule a consultation today.
Charlotte, NC- Miss Lumbee 2008 has filed a lawsuit alleging that her boss at the tribal housing council sexually harassed her and tribal leaders took no action to stop the behavior by one of their own.
When Ashley Haywood took her job at the housing council she wanted to use her notoriety to help children of the Lumbee tribe get the school supplies and immunizations they needed, but what was noble deed ended up being a nightmare when Rev. Jimmy Hunt began giving her unwanted sexual attention.
“After I was hired the first thing he said to me which I thought was unusual was that I was hired because of the way I looked,” Haywood told local station WCNC.
According to her suit, Hunt began creating a hostile work environment shortly after she started her job in 2009.
“He made comments about my body, the way I looked. Sexual comments,” Haywood said. But Hunt’s behavior soon elevated and became physical.
One day, Hunt groped Haywood and forcibly kissed her. She told him to stop, but it took her close to five minutes to fight him off. Though this was akin to an assault, Haywood didn’t go to the police and instead went to tribal leaders to take action.
Tribal leaders begged her not to go to the police because it would be bad publicity for the tribe, WCNC reported. But when Haywood continued to pressure her superiors to investigate they fired her.
Haywood contacted a sexual harassment attorney to file a state suit against the Lumbee Tribe after they failed to address the allegations against Hunt. Sexual harassment and retaliation are strictly forbidden by federal law and when it goes unaddressed the victims are able to seek compensation for the emotional duress they suffer.