Sexual harassment in the workplace is one of the worst experiences that an employee can have. It can make you feel weak and inferior, or make you feel like you’re only valued for your sexual appeal, rather than your work performance. Perhaps most importantly, it can make you feel uncomfortable or scared at your place of work, which is something that nobody should have to endure. Unfortunately, victims of sexual harassment often feel as though they can’t escape from the harassment for fear that their employment will be in jeopardy if they speak out.
California residents should know that, while employers can fire you for speaking out against sexual harassment, they absolutely can’t get away with it if your claims are true. According to a lawsuit filed by a former principal software engineer, the director of engineering at Yahoo moved into the former employee’s apartment in Sunnyvale, less than an hour south of San Francisco, and forced the former employee to engage in oral sex against her will.
The suit claims that the employee was threatened by her harasser, who said she would take away the employee’s job and her future if she refused to comply. Allegedly, when the employee reported the harassment, the employee was indeed fired by Yahoo. Not surprisingly, Yahoo is standing behind their executive, claiming that the allegations are baseless and that they will fight the suit.
Of course nobody should be filing baseless claims in an effort to extort money, but for employees who have certainly faced sexual harassment, the law is on your side. You don’t have to suffer in your circumstances, but if reporting harassment costs you your job, you can take the matter to court and be compensated for both your harassment and your wrongful termination. Strong legal counsel can ensure that your case is made properly and that you get the compensation you deserve.
Source: SFGate, “Yahoo executive sued for alleged sexual harassment,” Evan Sernoffsky, July 15, 2014