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Lawsuit against LA councilman cites quid pro quo harassment

Category: Retaliation, Sexual Harassment

There are many different types of sexual harassment that can take place on the job. But no matter what form it takes and who is involved, workplace harassment is wrong. This includes being asked to perform sexual favors in exchange for a promotion, job security or other types of favorable treatment. This unlawful behavior is referred to as quid pro quo harassment, and it can happen to any person in any job.

It is also the behavior being cited in a lawsuit against a Los Angeles councilman filed by his former deputy chief of staff.

According to the woman’s claim, the councilman told her that if she engaged in a sexual relationship with him, he would support her in her campaign for political office. She says that when she refused his advances, he got upset and promised that he would retaliate against her, which can also be unlawful. Instead of moving into a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board, she was transferred to a different position with a decreased salary.

The councilman has refuted the claims and says that although he supported her candidacy, it was not motivated by a sexual relationship. He also asserts that he and the woman did, in fact, have a consensual affair.

These cases can be extremely complicated, as it can be challenging to prove that this type of arrangement was in place. This is because it is not uncommon for these allegations to involve a substantial amount of he-said, she-said, which seems to be the case here. However, an experienced attorney familiar with workplace harassment can help victims take action by tracking down witness statements, e-mails and other types of evidence that could prove that an employee’s rights have been violated due to quid pro quo harassment or retaliation.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News, “L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar files response to sexual harassment lawsuit,” Dakota Smith, Jan. 21, 2014

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