Articles Posted in Sexual Harassment

The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a sexual harassment case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: Patricia Jennings sought damages for past and future pain and suffering, lost earnings and future medical expenses. She claimed she sustained severe emotional distress from the damage to her reputation, and was evaluated by a forensic psychiatrist, who diagnosed her with depression. She also claimed that she has not found a new job after being fired.

Facts:

On Nov. 13, 2009, plaintiffs Patricia Jennings, 30s, a secretary, and Verrias Mollusk, 60s, a principal, were terminated from their respective jobs at ABC School, a private school. Jennings had previously filed a complaint for sexual harassment with the school against Harry Kirkland, a school auditor and administrator. Mollusk, who supported Jennings and protested against Kirkland’s conduct and the school’s failure to take remedial measures, was terminated and then replaced by Kirkland.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a sexual harassment case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

Both Patricia Jennings and Mollusk contended that the defendants defamed them at several meetings after they were terminated, making false accusations about them stealing from the school while still under its employ.

The defendants denied all of the plaintiffs’ accusations. They claimed that Mollusk was fired for mismanaging the school, and that Jennings was fired for an incident in which she refused to allow a member of the Board of Directors to enter the school grounds. They claimed that Jennings told him to get the hell out of the school and pretended that she was afraid of him.

The defendants filed cross-complaints against the plaintiffs for conversion and negligence, which, on motions by the plaintiffs, were dismissed by the judge after the defense’s case in chief.

Mollusk sought damages for past and future lost earnings, as well as pain and suffering.

Harry Jennings sought damages for a loss of consortium.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a sexual harassment case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

In summation, plaintiffs’ counsel maintained that the two plaintiffs were entitled to the same protection from sexual harassment as they would receive in any other employment context.

ABC Company denied that it negligently hired, trained or supervised its recruiters. Counsel for the defense argued that the two minors were motivated by their interest in having sex with military men and they weren’t raped because the sex was consensual. Counsel referenced Dallas and Rice’s videotaped statements to the Mendocino DA and the Sacramento Police Department that identified the sex as consensual to exemplify the assertions. Counsel also noted that the DA elected not to press charges based on that evidence.

Counsel further maintained that the two recruiters didn’t require any additional supervision during the sleepover event because they were properly trained ABC Company and their commanding officer would have had no reason to believe that they would have behaved improperly during the event.

Regarding the allegations that Damon had used his position as a recruiter to coerce a student into having sex with him on a previous occasion, counsel asserted that the ABC Company investigated the allegations and found that they weren’t credible. Counsel further contended that neither Damon nor anyone else used the No Child Left Behind database to locate Dallas. In fact, counsel argued that Dallas had already contacted another recruiter in Sacramento prior to moving to Folsom. Counsel asserted that Dallas then contacted the Placerville recruiting office which referred her to Damon’s Sacramento office. Dallas then asked the Placerville recruiter to have Damon call her.

Counsel also argued that neither of the plaintiffs ended up joining the ABC Company despite their aspirations to do so. Thus counsel asserted a claim for injunctive relief that the two plaintiffs would recruit again if they felt assured that a similar occurrence would be properly prevented from happening in the future if they elected to join the ABC Company.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a sexual harassment case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiffs’ counsel claimed that Damon used the No Child Left Behind database to locate female students that he could recruit for the ABC Company. According to counsel, the database allowed for Damon to acquire Dallas’s home address and visit the plaintiff in fall 2003. Counsel further alleged that, shortly after he initially visited Dallas, Damon invited her to the ABC Company’ Sacramento recruiting office where he supplied her with liquor and had sex with her on February 3, 2004 and March 4, 2004. Counsel then claims that Damon used an unsupervised sleepover event on March 17-18, 2004, to coordinate a third sexual encounter, this time with Dallas bringing her friend, Martha Rice, who had sex with Fallows.

Plaintiffs’ counsel contended that the two recruiters used their status as Marine recruiters to persuade and coerce the two high school students into having sex with them. Counsel also maintained that Damon and Fallows provided the girls with alcohol and Vicodin, pulled out mats from the closet and then raped them. According to counsel, Damon went so far as to tell Dallas that the only way that she’d get into the ABC Company was if she allowed him to have sex with her.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written to illustrate an example of a sexual harassment case. Reviewing this kind of lawsuit should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

INJURIES: The two plaintiffs suffered from emotional distress and shame at having been coerced into believing that they needed to have sex with the recruiters in order to gain entrance into the ABC Company. Counsel further argued that Dallas lost her virginity to Damon while she was intoxicated at the recruiting office and that Damon had infected her with Chlamydia. According to counsel, when Dallas told Damon that he had given her the disease, Damon responded by exclaiming, “I should have used a condom with your dirty ass.”
Facts:

In the fall of 2003, plaintiff Jane Dallas, a Sacramento high school student, was contacted by an ABC Company recruiter, Phil Damon, about the potential for her to embark on a career in the ABC Company. By the end of January 2004, the two would have sex on three occasions. On the last occasion, Dallas was accompanied by her friend, Martha Rice, who claimed that she had sex with Damon’s fellow recruiter, Ben Fallows at the Sacramento recruiting office.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff May Not Offer Evidence of Lee’s Private Relationships and Conduct.

Defendants anticipate that Hill will attempt to prejudice the jury against Defendants by offering evidence relating to Lee’s non-work related sexual conduct, including relationships with men and other private conduct outside of the workplace. For example, in opposition to Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, Hill submitted a declaration in which she asserted, without foundation, that Lee ordered so many pornographic videos on his Directv account at home that his Directv account was repeatedly blocked by Directv …. (Hill Decl., filed in opposition to Defendants’ MSJ) In some cases, it is anticipated that Hill will seek to justify her proffer of certain evidence, by baldly claiming that she was at Lee’s private home for work meetings. (Hill Decl.) For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Any such evidence is irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial, and its introduction would violate Lee’s Constitutionally guaranteed right of privacy. The constitutional right of sexual privacy, both within and without the marital relationship, is a fundamental liberty arising from both the United States and the California Constitutions. The California right has been described as a protective zone of privacy “surrounding sexual behavior…” Boler v. Superior Court, 201 Cal. App. 3d 467, 473 (1987). Indeed, California accords privacy the constitutional status of an “inalienable right, on a par with defending life and possessing property.” Vinson v. Superior Court, 43 Cal. 3d 833, 841 (1987) (internal citations omitted).

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The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

Plaintiff may not offer evidence of purported comments made by Lee relating to race, national origin and religion. Hill is a Caucasian female who is claiming only gender based harassment and discrimination. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that Hill will attempt to sway the jury with testimony of purported racist and anti-Semitic remarks made by Lee. Evidence of any such remarks is manifestly irrelevant and unfairly prejudicial and should be excluded. See e.g. Galarraga v. Marriott Employees FCU, 70 F.E.P. Cases 1605, 1610 (D. Md. 1996) (in granting defendant employer’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim of gender discrimination under the Equal Pay Act ( EPA ), the Court held that evidence of comments regarding plaintiff’s accent would demonstrate national origin-based animus rather than gender-based animus, and would not raise a reasonable inference of gender discrimination, and is, therefore, irrelevant to plaintiff’s claim). For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

See also, McClain v. Mack Trucks. Inc., 85 F.R.D. 53, 63 (E.D. Penn. 1979) (limiting discovery on motion to compel to evidence of racial discrimination on the ground that [w]hether [defendant] discriminates against employees on the basis of religion, creed, gender or national origin is wholly irrelevant to [plaintiff’s] present claim of racial discrimination).

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The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

Major Evidentiary Issues

Defendants intend to file a number of motions in limine directed at Hill’s anticipated evidence. Defendants anticipate the following major evidentiary issues:

Plaintiff may not offer evidence of speech or conduct that was not directed at her or other female employees. Plaintiff apparently hopes to prove her harassment claims with evidence that Lee engaged in vulgar banter with his female, non-employee friends, that Hill overheard and by which she was offended. However, Hill cannot rely on such evidence because it is (1) irrelevant to her harassment claim under Lyle v. Warner Brothers because it was not directed at her or other female employees “because of” gender, and was welcomed by (and non-harassing of) the women to whom the speech was directed; and (2) Lee’s non-directed speech is protected by his right of free speech, particularly where some of the speech occurred at social dinners and outside of the workplace.

Further, see Title 2, California Code of Regulations 7287.6 (DFEH’s regulations provide that the rights of free speech and association shall be accommodated consistently with the intent of this subsection. ); DeAngelis, 51 F.3d at 596-97; Saxe, 240 F.3d at 204, 206. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins. (See Part 9 of 10.)

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The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

ALL CONTESTED ISSUES OF LAW

Based on briefing in connection with Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, Defendants believe the following to be the contested issues of law:

Whether Defendant Randy Lee’s alleged vulgar speech is protected by his right of free speech under the First Amendment and California Constitution.

Hill’s sexual harassment claim seeks to invoke state law to punish Lee (and indirectly Randy Lee Artists Collective) for exercising his right of free speech. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) has recognized that free speech rights exist even in the context of alleged harassment. Although the DFEH’s regulations provide that certain forms of verbal and visual conduct can constitute unlawful harassment, the regulations go on to provide that the rights of free speech and association shall be accommodated consistently with the intent of this subsection. Title 2, California Code of Regulations 7287.6. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

In Lyle, the Supreme Court ultimately did not address the Constitutional limits of sexual harassment laws, because it construed FEHA narrowly to punish only discriminatory speech or conduct that was aimed at the plaintiff or female employees generally because of their gender. Lyle. 38 Cal. 4th at 294 (declining to address First Amendment issue).

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The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)

ALL CONTESTED ISSUES OF FACT

Most of the facts in this matter are undisputed. The principal disputes of fact appear to be:

1. Whether Hill used vulgar language around Lee: while the undisputed evidence demonstrates that Hill used vulgar speech in her communications with Lee (including, emails in which she used the words “bitch” and “fuck,” and forwarded a video of naked men), Hill apparently does not recall using certain words remembered by others (like “cunt” and “cock”) and does not recall discussing with Lee her boyfriends’ penises. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

2. Whether Hill freely socialized with Lee: While numerous witnesses will testify that Hill regularly and freely socialized with Lee, including dining with him almost every night for 7 years, Hill apparently intends to testify that she socialized with Lee only to “curry favor” with him. (As stated in the Declaration of Gabrielle Hill filed in opposition to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment.)

3. Whether Hill made any protected complaint or protest: Hill has admitted that she never complained to Lee. However, she apparently contends – and Defendants dispute – that Hill complained to others, who, in any event, did not take part in the decision to terminate Hill’s employment.

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