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Sexual harassment claim revived despite contract restriction

Sexual harassment can be one of the most terrifying and disgusting encounters in the workplace. Victims of sexual harassment may choose not to say anything for fear of retaliation either from their harasser or the company itself. They may also internalize the ordeal, wondering if perhaps they are the problem. Make no mistake, victims of sexual harassment are just that -- victims.

A female resident of Benicia, California, filed a sexual harassment suit in November 2011. She claimed that her supervisor began harassing her by making inappropriate comments and gestures about a year after she was hired. After complaining to management, she claimed that the company retaliated by sending her to a worse location. The suit accuses the company not only of retaliation but also failure to protect her from sexual harassment by a supervisor.

Another notable aspect of this suit is that the company states in the employment contract that employees have six months from the alleged harassment to file such suits. However, the state appeals court rejected this notion. This shows that even when companies try to stifle their employees’ rights to pursue legal action, justice may still be served. Victims should not hesitate to exercise their rights.

Sexual harassment may cause a number of conflicting emotions, including fear or anger. Victims should not suffer in silence due to fear of retaliation; the law is there for them. There are many types of sexual harassment, including inappropriate language and sexually explicit material. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, you may be entitled to compensation.

Source: SFGate, “Appeals court revives sex harassment suit by Benicia woman,” Bob Egelko, March. 22, 2014

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