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Sexual harassment in the workplace leads to $230,000 court award

When you bring claims of sexual harassment in the workplace to your employer, at the very least you expect the claims to be taken under serious consideration. Unfortunately, that is not what happened when two women were fired in March 2008 from Doctors Co., which is the nation's largest insurer of physicians. The California based insurance company instead fired them in retaliation for complaining about harassment by a supervisor.

According to court documents, the first woman involved was the subject of sexual harassment in the workplace beginning August 2007 to sometime before she was fired in March 2008. After going through anti-harassment training, which was conducted by the company, she filed a complaint with a manager. The second woman involved stepped forward to corroborate the complaint.

Instead of reviewing the complaint and taking appropriate action, the company closely scrutinized the work of the two women and subsequently fired them. The two then took the complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), who initiated a lawsuit on their behalf against Doctors Co. The company denied the harassment, but agreed to a settlement paying the women compensation of $230,000, which was approved by the federal judge hearing the matter.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is never justified. If a company fails to address it, there are a number of available legal options to address the wrong. When someone is unjustly fired for filing a complaint about harassment, they clearly deserve full and fair compensation for their injuries, including economic loss.

Source: SFGate, "Doctors Co. pays $230,000 in sex harassment case," Bob Egelko, Sept. 26, 2011

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