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California DA's employee says she suffered sexual harassment

When employees receive unwanted sexual advances at their workplaces, employment law can protect those employees from further harassment or mistreatment at work.

Under California employment law, sexual harassment includes comments of a sexual nature and any harassment because of pregnancy, gender or childbirth-related medical conditions. Sexual harassment also includes any discrimination because of gender.

Employees who experience sexual harassment cannot legally face retaliation or intimidation at work from their employers for speaking up about the sexual harassment. Additionally, those who have suffered from sexual harassment have options to make the harassment stop and to receive damages for the harassment.

One California woman has recently claimed that she suffered from sexual harassment, among other claims of wrongdoing, while she worked for a California district attorney's office. She goes on to claim that she has been retaliated against since coming forward with these claims.

The woman, who has worked for the DA's office since 2006, was recently put on paid administrative leave after her complaints. Besides the sexual harassment claim, she also complained about the DA office's "unlawful polygraph practices," vacation time policies, showing favoritism, misusing grant funds and several other issues.

The DA's office, on the other hand, denies the charges. Officials argue that the woman was placed on paid administrative leave not for the complaints but because of a recent arrest stemming from the woman's alleged drunk driving.

The case is currently being heard by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, which is the first step toward litigation. The woman is asking for damages in excess of $25,000.

Source: The Times-Standard, "Claim alleges malfeasance in DA's Office; Gallegos: Allegations will be proven false," Thadeus Greenson, May 10, 2012

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