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Bryant Whitten, LLP

8 California workers sue for sexual harassment

A workplace that was supposed to be a training ground for new and disabled workers was the target of a recent lawsuit. Eight workers won a settlement against a California Goodwill franchise and its affiliate after claiming sexual harassment. The workers said that they were repeatedly harassed by their direct supervisor.

The women were employed by Goodwill Industries of the East Bay and Calidad Industries, Inc. They were in a janitorial job program. Many of the employees are disabled and new to the workforce. Unfortunately, instead of additional support, the women were sexually harassed, and two managers who advocated for the women were retaliated against.

The workers are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, so the harassment was alleged to be in violation of that law. The settlement awarded $850,000 to eight former and current employees of the company. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was able to investigate their claims and found them to be convincing.

The California companies must also change and improve their policies and training methods following the judgment. They must also hire a consultant to monitor future harassment complaints. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious offense and can be harmful for those who experience it. Luckily, state and federal law protects workers. If a worker believes that he or she has been a victim of sexual harassment and would like to seek justice, he or she may choose to consult with an experienced employment law attorney for more guidance on the issue.

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