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Sexual harassment suit filed against janitorial company

Sexual harassment remains a real problem in workplaces in Indiana and other states and is grounds for litigation, as it is illegal. One woman in another state recently accused a business of permitting workplace sexual harassment. The allegations come after the worker said the company retaliated against her when she refused her boss's sexual advances and reported them.

According to the lawsuit, the company -- a janitorial contractor -- violated federal law by permitting a supervisor at the company to harass a worker sexually. Specifically, the woman was subjected to comments from her boss that were sexually explicit in nature. The supervisor is also believed to have taken the woman to a private area and tried to initiate sexual activity with her.

When the woman rejected the advances and reported the behavior to the leadership at the company, she reportedly received no response. The company then allegedly fired the woman about three months later for opposing the behavior. Financial damages are being sought as part of the suit, including lost wages, compensation for emotional distress and injunctive relief, which includes training workers about anti-discrimination legislation.

According to federal law, companies are obligated to prevent sexual harassment, as well as remedy it. They are also prohibited from retaliating against workers who report harassment. When sexual harassment does happen, employers are required to take immediate and effective action. Anybody who has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in Indiana has the right to seek to hold the employer accountable through the civil court system.

Source: mercurynews.com, "Gilroy cleaning business faces lawsuit for sexual harassment, retaliation", Sept. 30, 2015

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