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California employee settles sexual harassment complaint

When employees have grievances against their employers, they have a couple of legal options. They can choose to bring suit against their employer. In order for a lawsuit to be successful, the employer must have broken some Californian or federal employment law. While litigation can bring success for a wronged employee, it can also be costly and time consuming.

On the other hand, employees can choose to settle with their employer outside of court. In some situations, this allows for a quicker resolution of the issue. With the help of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, one California employee has recently settled sexual harassment and retaliation complaints with her employer.

The woman works for Tenaya Lodge near Yosemite National Park. The lodge operates a resort and hotel. The woman claims that her male supervisor sexually harassed her by making sexual comments and images. When the woman complained about the sexual harassment, the woman was issued a written warning. Following the incident, she was also treated differently from her supervisor.

When an employee suffers from unwanted sexual advances, that employee has the right to complain to supervisors without facing any negative consequences. Under federal employee laws, it is illegal for the harassment and any retaliation to occur.

The woman filed a complaint with the EEOC -- which began an investigation. The EEOC found that not only was it likely that this woman had suffered from sexual harassment and retaliation at Tenaya, but it found that it was likely other woman had as well.

To avoid a lawsuit, Tenaya settled with this woman and the EEOC. Under the terms of the settlement, the woman will receive $100,000 from the hotel. Furthermore, a fund of $95,000 is to be set up for other women who experienced sexual harassment or retaliation at Tenaya. The hotel must also create and implement new training for staff to avoid this issue in the future.

Source: Sierra Sun Times, "Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment & Retaliation Case For $195,000," Nov. 7, 2012

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