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Sexual harassment lawsuit alleges culture of mistreatment

A female financial advisor sued her former employing firm for damages in her firing due to sexual harassment and related workplace violations. The complaint indicates a culture of sexual objectification and demeaning treatment along gender lines in the California office.

The suit contains charges of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, sex discrimination, retaliation and failure to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The financial services firms denied any unlawful conduct associated with the charges.

The plaintiff began working as a financial advisor as one of few women in the office after a rigorous professional training program. Soon after her work began, she alleges she was "subjected to repeated sexual harassment due to a sexually charged work environment, sexual propositions and demeaning treatment."

She experienced unwanted sexual touching and propositions at the hands of her supervisor, according to the complaint. She was transferred to a different office after an initial report to prevent this behavior, and she maintains that career opportunities were withheld until she was dismissed due to being "ungrateful" to male superiors.

The suit claims that the firm created an atmosphere in which sexual harassment thrived by failing to train management in methods to prevent it and the absence of preventative measures. As a result, according to the filing, sexual harassment was "commonplace" at the firm's offices.

Sexual harassment -- in the form of offensive statements, inappropriate touching or poor employee treatment -- is illegal and those who experienced it have legal protections to guard against unlawful termination, retaliation and demotion. Consult a legal representative if you feel you have been subject to sexual harassment.

Source: Santa Monica Patch, "Former Financial Advisor Sues For Sexual Harassment," Emily Holland, July 17, 2017

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