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Bryant Whitten, LLP

California sperm bank sexual harassment suit reaches settlement

Employers have a duty to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment based on gender. But what is an employee to do when it is a supervisor who is the one making the work environment a hostile one? In a recently settled lawsuit to that effect, a California woman was forced to leave her job due to sexual harassment and discrimination from her boss.

The woman filed a suit on Nov. 4, 2016 in the Los Angeles Super Court, naming California Cryobank LLC – the sperm bank at which she had been employed -- as the defendant. The complaint alleged sexual harassment and discrimination, as well as wrongful termination and emotional distress that was intentionally inflicted upon her. The case was recently settled, though the terms of the settlement were not divulged.

The string of incidents began after the woman was hired by the company in late 2013 as a cord blood educator. According to the lawsuit, after only a few months, one of the woman's bosses referred to the dark stains around her work area as semen. Later, the same boss mocked her with a video recording showing the woman's appearance on a TV show, and failed to stop despite her request. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that the company did nothing to deter the boss's behavior, despite management's awareness.

When, three months later, the woman was demoted, and then subsequently denied permission to visit her aging parents, the plaintiff says she eventually felt forced to quit, as she could no longer continue to work in such a hostile environment. She believes she was subjected to the treatment because of her gender and subsequently filed the lawsuit. Any other California women or men who have been similarly subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace have the right to have their concerns heard by a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney who can offer legal counsel on how best to hold accountable the responsible parties and get the justice they deserve.

Source: westsidetoday.com, "Woman Forced to Quit Job Due to Sexual Harassment Settles Lawsuit", March 22, 2017

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