Michelle Cohen Levy

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Approachable.
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$1.2 million awarded to police officer in harassment lawsuit

| Oct 8, 2019 | Sexual Harassment |

When one experiences sexual harassment in the workplace in Fort Lauderdale, it can easily feel like a violation of both their dignity and safety. The uneasiness that they feel is something that should be respected, not judged. It is for this very reason that employers who have been notified that such a violation has taken place are expected to act rather than be the adjudicators as to whether or not an offense actually took place. Oftentimes, the accuser is not even looking to get the person who harassed them in trouble, but rather is simply trying to escape the situation. When employers fail to act appropriately in such situations, they open themselves up to liability claims.

Just how seriously is the inaction of an employer in response to a sexual harassment claim taken? One need only look at the recent case of a Kentucky police officer. She notified her major that a male colleague has sent a picture of his genitals to her via text. She also said that he would follow her around when he was off duty. Her major’s response, however, was to both justify the other officer’s actions by claiming that his sending the picture to her was likely unintentional and to deter her from pursuing a sexual harassment claim for fear of the negative publicity it might bring. The woman instead filed a lawsuit against the department, which resulted in her being awarded a $1.2 million settlement.

This case serves to demonstrate the responsibility employers have to take accusations of sexual harassment seriously. Those who feel their employers have not may wish to work with an attorney to initiate legal action.