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Woman receives damages award in sexual harassment lawsuit

Victims of sexual harassment should be aware that they receive important protections under the law. An employee who worked for a restaurant owned by reality T.V. personality Lisa Vanderpump was recently awarded over $6,000 by a jury because the woman alleged she was forced to quit working at the restaurant because of sexual harassment by one of the assistant managers at the restaurant.

The Los Angeles-area restaurant, Villa Blanca, was found liable and to have acted with malice, however, the man the woman alleged harassed her was not found liable. The woman asserted that the assistant manager tried to kiss her on one occasion and, four months later, hurt her wrists when he grabbed and twisted them after she requested change for $20 to distribute tips following her shift at the restaurant.

The woman worked for the restaurant for a little over a year and asserted that the stress of the working environment caused her to have to quit. The victim also asserted that the restaurant violated its own policies against sexual harassment by failing to address and remedy the alleged harassment. Employers who employ over fifteen employees are subject to federal laws that govern sexual harassment. There are different types of sexual harassment but if either type occurs, an employer may be liable.

Based on the circumstances, such as who committed the sexual harassment and what actions the company took to respond to the harassment, an employer may be liable to the victim for a variety of different types of damages for harassment. Liability of the employer for sexual harassment damages can vary based on if the harassment was committed by a superior or a co-worker, however, victims of unwanted sexual advances may have legal recourse in either circumstance.

Victims of sexual harassment may feel overwhelmed by the circumstances they are facing. Because of this, the legal system seeks to offer options to help victims rectify the harm and receive necessary compensation for the harm.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News, "Server at restaurant co-owned by 'Real Housewives' star Lisa Vanderpump gets $6k award in sexual-harassment case," June 12, 2014

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