The former chief of staff for Los Angeles city councilman Jose Huizar filed a sexual harassment suit against him on October 17. Francine Godoy, Huizar’s former chief of staff, claims in the lawsuit that the councilman repeatedly sexually harassed her during her time working for him.
Godoy previously filed a complaint to the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging Huizar was sexually harassing her in August. In her previous complaint, Godoy claimed Huizar retaliated against her after refusing his offers for sex, and that he sabotaged her career by not allowing her to run for public office. The new lawsuit claims Huizar harassed Godoy too many times to count and that he held back her career after withdrawing his support for Godoy to run for Community College Board of Trustees after she refused his sexual advances. Godoy is suing Huizar as well as the city of Los Angeles for $25,000 in damages.
Huizar denies the claims, calling his relationship with Godoy “occasional and consensual.”
Sexual harassment is a prevalent problem in the workplace and can be extremely difficult to prove. The most important thing to do if you are being sexually harassed on the job is to document everything and bring a complaint to every relevant person in your office, including the HR department, your supervisor, your harasser’s supervisor and anyone else in a position of authority. It is also important to collect evidence against your harasser that could be used in a lawsuit. If you are treated unfairly or retaliated against after filing a complaint, you may be able to sue for retaliation.
When complaining to your workplace internally fails, you may be able to file a lawsuit for sexual harassment. The labor law attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob have nearly four decades of combined experience in employment law and are dedicated to representing those who suffer from negligent or abusive employers. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable in their workplace, and we work diligently to secure that right.
Contact our Los Angeles harassment attorneys if you have been sexually harassed on the job, or give us a call at (310) 273-3180 to set up a free consultation.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys