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Employment Law For Startups

Although sexual harassment has garnered greater scrutiny and attention in recent years as workplaces seek to put a stop to it, it still goes on in a multitude of occupations and circumstances. Often, people are unaware of how to deal with it even if they know that there is a violation of California employment law taking place. In some cases, there is not even an awareness that the behaviors from a supervisor, a fellow employee and even a customer are violations that can warrant compensation through a legal case. If there is a belief that sexual harassment has happened, it is important to discuss the matter with an attorney who is experienced in employment law.


A financial start-up in California has been accused of ignoring sexual harassment in its workplace, except it is not the victim who is filing the case, but a witness. A previous employee has filed a lawsuit saying that he was a witness to female employees being subjected to harassment by managers. He was dismissed when he complained about it. The man had worked at the business for several months before being terminated. There is a planned lawsuit along with this one in which class action status will be sought.

The man who filed the lawsuit claims that he witnessed a manager using sexual terms and statements during workplace conversations and that a female colleague was referred to by various gestures of a sexual nature that were related to her appearance. He asserts that he was fired when he was told the complaints had no merit and that telling superiors went beyond the boundaries of his regular duties.

Whether it is a victim of sexual harassment or a person who witnessed and was subjected to the harassment of another person, it is illegal in California and could be the basis for a lawsuit. For those who have seen this type of behavior or been victimized by it themselves and had their position negatively affected or lost their job entirely, there are alternatives. Discussing a case with an experienced legal professional can be beneficial to filing a claim. Calling to talk about the issues is the first step.

Source: nytimes.com, "Another Silicon Valley Start-Up Faces Sexual Harassment Claims," Nathaniel Popper, Aug. 11, 2017

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