Can a Lawsuit Include Claims of Harassment and Discrimination?

Sometimes, terms in employment law can blend, as claims of harassment, discrimination and retaliation are found within the same case. Photo of sexual harassment

Keep in mind, acts of discrimination and harassment can include disparate treatment or instances of slurs, offensive jokes, comments or other actions against someone in a workplace. Sexual harassment in particular can include instances of unwelcome sexual advances, sexual favors or other physical or verbal sexual contact.

People who experience these issues at work are protected under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

When an employer allows instances of discrimination and harassment to occur, it may be accused of promoting a hostile work environment. People who face harassment or discrimination at work should speak to an attorney, as they may be able to recover damages, and in some cases, back pay if they are wrongfully terminated.

Sacramento State Agrees to Settle Harassment Lawsuit

We bring up this issue because recently Sacramento State agreed to pay an employee $123,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by the university president’s son.

According to the Sacramento Bee, in a lawsuit filed in March 2013, Jeffrey Sharp, claimed that Alexander Gonzalez Jr. touched him, and made suggestive and offensive comments when they worked together in the Office of University Advancement.

Sharp also claimed that he faced retaliation when he reported the abuse to his supervisor. The settlement came shortly before the case was scheduled to go to trial. Further details surrounding the harassment were not available.

Workplace Harassment—What Should I Do?

Again, if you or someone you love has been the victim of sexual harassment or discrimination at work, it is imperative that you report the incidents to your supervisors or human resources department. If the harassment continues, speak to an attorney.

As this case shows, you may be entitled to damages and you may be able to hold your employer liable if you continue to experience harassment or discrimination at work.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys