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Former entertainment CEO accuses Joel Katz of harassment

People in Florida might be interested to learn that entertainment lawyer Joel Katz has been accused of sexual harassment by Deborah Dugan, the former CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Katz is the founder and chairman of the entertainment and media practice area of Greenberg Traurig.

According to news sources, Dugan filed a discrimination charge against Katz and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Jan. 21. She alleged that Katz, the outside counsel for the National Academy, repeatedly commented on her appearance and referred to her as "baby." She also alleges that he made unwelcome sexual advances to her at a dinner in May 2019.

Dugan claims that after she filed a complaint with human resources, she was placed on leave by the National Academy on Jan. 16. She also alleges that the National Academy has a male-centric culture and that the former CEO had reportedly raped an unnamed female recording artist. The National Academy released a statement saying that Dugan was placed on leave after she demanded $22 million and offered to step down.

Sexual harassment and discrimination at work are prohibited by state and federal law. Despite the anti-discrimination laws, workplace sex discrimination and harassment continue to be pervasive problems. Women and men who are sexually harassed at work might want to consult with experienced employment law attorneys. An attorney might explain how to approach the issue internally. If an internal complaint does not work to end the sexual harassment, the attorney may help his or her client to draft and file a discrimination charge with the EEOC. If the EEOC gives the client leave to sue, the attorney may draft and file a formal civil complaint to try to recover damages for the client.

Source: The Recorder, "Greenberg shareholder accused of sexual harassment by ousted Grammys chief," Ross Todd, Jan. 21, 2020.

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