If you did not already know, now that we have evolved from the world of “Mad Men,” sexual harassment in the workplace is no longer considered a joke or simply a cultural artifact. It is a serious violation of law, and juries do not hesitate to slap a company which tolerates it.
For example, the EEOC has just proudly announced a large jury verdict which it obtained on behalf of three former employees of Endoscopic Microsurgery Associates, a Baltimore-area medical practice. The employees were found to have been the subject of repeated unwanted sexual advances and a hostile work environment by two top executives of the company, and, further, one employee was retaliated against for spurning the advances and was then fired.
Although the jury awarded relatively nominal compensatory damages to plaintiffs in amounts ranging from $4,000 to $10,000, each plaintiff was also awarded punitive damages in the amount of $110,000 – a pretty heavy rebuke to the company.
The EEOC lead counsel stated that “This case emphasizes the necessity of employers having in place meaningful and enforceable policies guarding against such mistreatment.”
We could not have said it better or more succinctly.