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California school allegedly ignored sexual harassment claims

Category: Hostile Work Environment, Sexual Harassment

A male employee of the Los Angeles Unified School District continued his legal battle with the district about his accusations of sexual harassment. Filing a new lawsuit, the LAUSD’s real estate director insists that district officials refused to look into his complaints that the superintendent made sexual advances on him.

The real estate director is currently on leave because of a seizure disorder. According to his current suit on file with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the superintendent first harassed in him in 2000 after helping him get his job. Initially, the plaintiff did not complain because the superintendent soon left his position.

Then in 2010 the alleged harasser returned to his post. The lawsuit made at that time states that the superintendent approached the plaintiff at his home. The employee worried that denying the sexual request would jeopardize his job. For that incident, the district offered a $200,000 settlement, which the employee did not sign. The superintendent in question left his position again but was later reinstated, which caused the plaintiff to file a new lawsuit. The plaintiff’s lawyer said that the school should not have rehired the superintendent and that this action presented a failure to protect an employee from possible sexual harassment.

In situations like this, sexual harassment within a hostile work environment can be difficult to prove. A person confronted by unwanted sexual advances at work might benefit from legal guidance. An attorney can advise the person on his or her rights and offer strategies for documenting evidence. If a legal case goes forward, an attorney could also help gain testimony from co-workers who witnessed the harassment.

Source: 89.3 KPCC, “Employee sues LAUSD superintendent third time alleging sexual harassment,” Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Feb. 25, 2015

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