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State court system has settled several sexual harassment claims

Los Angeles residents probably expect better from those who are charged with enforcing this state's laws against discrimination and sexual harassment. Some California courts have found themselves defending against allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior among their various employees, some of whom are or were judges.

In many cases, the courts wound up settling the claims filed by the victims of harassment. According to records, there were $296,000 in settlement payments to resolve three claims filed against California state judges, and an additional $225,000 spent to settle two claims filed against other employees of the various courts in this state.

Additionally, the court spent almost $80,000 in legal and investigative fees to evaluate complaints filed against several other judges, although it was not disclosed how these complaints ultimately got resolved. In fact, details surrounding these cases were somewhat scarce since a lot of information was withheld from the public because of alleged issues involving attorney-client privilege.

However, those investigating were able to determine one of these settlements involved a case in which a judge was accused of attempting to have a romantic affair with his court clerk. The judge eventually was ordered removed from office by state authorities charged with overseeing judicial conduct.

The takeaway from this story for average California employees is that it does no matter how powerful or well-connected a supervisor or manager is. If they run afoul of the state and federal laws prohibiting sexual harassment, then the victim has legal options available to her. She can pursue these options with the help of an experienced employment law attorney.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "California court paid at least $500,000 to resolve sex harassment suits against judges and employees," Maura Dolan, March 24, 2018

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Law Offices of Allan A. Sigel, P.C.

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