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Trial begins in L.A.-area sexual harassment and retaliation claim

Workers are protected in several different ways in the workplace. These employee rights extend to various situations, involving both employees and employers. And in cases where a worker believes his or her rights have been violated, it is possible to assert these rights.

According to reports, a sexual harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit recently began in the Los Angeles area. Apparently, this claim is related to the termination of a city council aide who is asserting she was fired for reporting sexual harassment from a colleague and reporting other potentially illegal activity in the workplace. A representative for the woman in the lawsuit asserted the woman was retaliated against for reporting the sexual harassment of the coworker.

The lawsuit involves employees in the city council deputy program that ended in 2015, which drew a significant amount of controversy and scandal. The woman asserts in her lawsuit that because of the wrongdoing she had reported, officials for the city ended the deputy program. The woman also asserts that after she was terminated, the city refused to consider her for other positions. The deputy program was replaced by city employees who provide services to all city council members.

The city has responded that the timing for ending the beleaguered deputy program coincided with a small number of city council members due to dramatic changes it the city council membership that resulted in only two city council deputies being employed at the time. Though the city denies wrongdoing, one other settlement has been reached related to the same program. Different legal options and remedies may be available to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. In addition, employers are not permitted to retaliate against employees for reporting sexual harassment or other wrongdoing.

Because a job, career and income are vital for most workers, the legal process provides thorough protections for workers harmed by sexual harassment, wrongful termination or retaliation. It is especially important for employees who have suffered sexual harassment, wrongful termination or retaliation in the workplace are familiar with the protections in place and how to exercise them when they have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace or the wrongful loss of a job.

Source: Los Angeles Time, "West Hollywood whistleblower case goes to trial with allegations of retaliation for reporting sexual harassment," Hailey Branson-Potts, May 5, 2017

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