A lawsuit has recently been filed against a senior director at the California Internet giant Yahoo. In the suit, a former employee of the company alleges both sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Both women involved in the suit started working for Yahoo after it acquired a third-party app. The women worked in the engineering department.

According to the woman, a former software engineer, she was harassed by her superior — the senior director of engineering. The woman says that the director claimed the woman would have a good future with the company if only she agreed to have sexual relations with her. Eventually, the woman says the director threatened to take away her stocks and terminate her unless the two had sex.

When the woman stopped having sex with the director, the lawsuit claims she received poor performance reviews from the director. When the woman complained to human resources, she claims she was placed on paid leave and then terminated. The company denies wrongdoing and plans on defending the director.

Under federal and state employment laws, employers cannot allow sexual harassment to occur within the workplace. Sexual harassment includes inappropriate touching, jokes, comments or coercion that create a hostile work environment. Furthermore, it is also illegal to retaliate against a worker who complains about or reports sexual harassment.

These laws are meant to protect California workers from intimidation at work. People should not have to suffer from workplace objectification or hostility because they refuse to put up with sexual harassment. Instead, a lawsuit — like the one in this case — can help workers seek justice. Employees could receive compensation for the treatment they have suffered and may help prevent instances of sexual harassment from occurring in the future.

Source: Tech Times, “Female Yahoo executive accused of sexual harassment,” Christian Bautista, July 17, 2014