Aaron’s Inc, a national furniture and appliance rental company, settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for $6 million recently, according to BusinessWeek.com. A former employee filed the suit against the company, alleging she was sexually harassed by her manager in 2006.
A jury originally awarded the plaintiff $95 million in June 2011, but the judge lowered the amount to $39.8 million, because the original amount exceeded the maximum allowed under state law. In a separate criminal trial, a jury acquitted the manager in September 2011. In January, however, a court determined that the $39.8 million judgment was excessive. Aaron’s and the plaintiff agreed to have it dismissed in lieu of a $6 million settlement.
Regarding the original verdict, Aaron’s called it an example of a “runaway jury.” Regardless of the amount of the money awarded by a jury, sexual harassment in the workplace in unacceptable. If an employer does not take every measure possible to ensure this type of harassment does not occur, it leaves itself open to this kind of lawsuit. If you experience harassment of any kind in the workplace, you should contact an experienced attorney.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—California employment attorneys.