Settlement Shows Workplace Sexual Harassment Can Happen Anywhere in New Jersey and Elsewhere

January 29, 2014

1386909334vsrbd morguefile username Godserv.jpgThree employees of the King County Sheriff's Office will reportedly receive $1 million as part of a workplace sexual harassment settlement. In their lawsuit, three female Sheriff's Office workers claim two of their male supervisors in the Special Assault Unit made lewd comments and exhibited other inappropriate behavior towards them. The two men are also accused of mocking the sexual assault victims the department works to protect and engaging in retaliation against the three women. According to the female employees, their formal complaints regarding the inappropriate conduct were dismissed or ignored for several years. Because of the County's alleged indifference to the offending behavior, the women eventually filed a sexual harassment lawsuit that was accompanied by the sworn statement of at least six current and former Sheriff's Office workers.

Prior to settling the case, a newly elected Sheriff, John Urquhart, transferred the two men accused of perpetrating the alleged harassment to different units. In the case, the women sought a combined total of up to $9 million in compensation for the emotional distress each female employee reportedly endured at work. Following mediation, the women agreed to split a $1 million sum three ways. The plaintiffs also demanded that the Sheriff's Office provide annual sexual harassment training to workers and issue a formal apology. King County agreed to comply with both additional demands, but refused to admit liability as part of the settlement agreement.

Although this case occurred in Washington, it shows that sexual harassment can happen at any workplace. In New Jersey, most employment law complaints allege sexual harassment or sex discrimination. According to data from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, more than 600 sexual harassment or discrimination cases were filed in the State of New Jersey in 2011. Additionally, the number of sexual harassment claims filed in New Jersey has reportedly increased by approximately 10 percent since 2006. If you believe that you suffered workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, you should discuss your rights with a skilled New Jersey employment lawyer.

Please call the Resnick Law Group, P.C. at 973-781-1204 or 646-867-7997 if you were the victim of sexual harassment or retaliation in a New Jersey or New York workplace. The quality employment attorneys at the Resnick Law Group represent current and former workers in both New Jersey and New York with legal matters that involve workplace discrimination and sexual harassment. To discuss your situation with a hardworking and experienced advocate, do not hesitate to contact the Resnick Law Group through our website today.

More Blog Posts:

New York Attorney General Announces Settlement Reached in Pregnancy Discrimination and Harassment Lawsuit Against Syracuse Mortuary School, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, December 6, 2013

New Jersey Law Protects Workers from Discrimination Prohibited by Proposed Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, December 5, 2013

Additional Resources:

County to pay $1 million to 3 detectives in sex-harassment case, by Steve Miletich, Seattle Times

3 King County sheriff's detectives allege rampant sexual harassment, by Steve Miletich, Seattle Times

Photo credit: Godserv, morgueFile