Best Ohio Sexual Harassment Attorney Answer: What is quid pro quo sexual harassment? What should I do if I was fired today for refusing to sleep with my supervisor? Can I sue my employer for the sexual harassment of my boss?
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. Firing an employee for refusing to engage in sex or sexual activity is wrongful termination. Our employment attorneys have blogged about many of the ways your boss, manager or supervisor can commit sexual harassment. (See What Can I Do About Pornography At Work? Best Sex Harassment Lawyer Reply!; Top Sexual Harassment Attorney Reply: What Constitutes Retaliation For Reporting Sexual Harassment?; Is It Sexual Harassment If My Boss Talks About My Cleavage? Top Attorney Reply!; and Can I Sue My Employer For Sexual Harassment? I Need A Lawyer!)
Sometimes a boss not only commits unlawful sexual harassment, but also makes it very easy to prove the sexual harassment in Court. That is exactly what happened in Ganci v. U.S. Limousine Service, LTD, a recent case out of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Specifically, Ganci was a former dispatcher for U.S. Limousine Service at its New Hyde Park, NY location, working under the supervision of Raymond Townsend. In 2009, Ganci filed a Complaint in federal court alleging that while employed with U.S. Limousine Service, Ganci was the target of sexual harassment by Townsend that lasted over a year. In her complaint, Ganci specifically alleged that Townsend left her sexually explicit messages, made sexually harassing comments to her and made other sexually inappropriate comments to other employees about Ganci. Ganci alleged that the motive behind the messages were that “I should not reject his advances otherwise my job would be in jeopardy.”
Ganci’s complaint also alleged that she was terminated in February, 2009 following an encounter in a bathroom with Townsend where she allegedly rejected Townsend’s sexual advances towards her. The nail in the coffin for U.S. Limousine Service and Townsend was the evidence of a text message that Townsend sent to Ganci saying that she was being fired because she “refused to have sex with the general manager.”
After a jury trial and verdict in her favor, Ganci was awarded $450,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $100,000 in punitive damages after the jury found that U.S. Limousine Service and Townsend violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in addition to several New York state laws. Thereafter, on April 2, 2015, the trial court awarded Ganci an additional amount of about $170,000 for attorney’s fees and costs associated with the lawsuit.
The Ganci case is a classic example of quid pro quo sexual harassment. To establish a quid pro quo claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate (1) that the employee was a member of a protected class, (2) that the employee was subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment in the form of sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, (3) that the harassment complained of was based on gender, and (4) that the employee’s submission to the unwelcome advances was an express or implied condition for receiving job benefits or that the employee’s refusal to submit to the supervisor’s sexual demands resulted in a tangible job detriment. See Schmitz v. Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
In Ganci’s case, this was clearly a case of alleged quid pro quo harassment, i.e. that Townsend was requesting “sexual favors” from Ganci as an express or implied condition for receiving job benefits, or in this case, Ganci keeping her job. This was made pretty obvious when Townsend sent a text to Ganci telling her she was being fired “because” she refused to have sex with him. This evidence was the proverbial “smoking gun” that no doubt made it pretty easy for the jury to find in Ganci’s favor.
Sexual harassment is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and similar Ohio laws. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination. If you feel that you are being sexually harassed or are working in a sexually charged or hostile working environment, you should not wait to call the right attorney at (216) 291-4744 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At The Spitz Law Firm, you will meet with a sexual harassment lawyer/hostile work environment attorney to find out what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them. Sexual harrassment is a form of gender discrimination, and employers should be held accountable if they discriminate against female workers in any fashion – but particularly for sexual harrassment. It does not matter if you have been wrongfully fired or are still employed, there is no reason to wait to find out what your legal rights are and how to protect yourself from sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
The materials available at the top of this page and at this gender discrimination, wrongful termination, and sex harassment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking “what should I do …”, “I’m being sexually harassed …” “my supervisor grabbed my…”, “my boss is touching…,” “I’ve been wrongfully terminated,” or “how do I …”, your best course is to contact an Ohio sexual harassment attorney/hostile work environment lawyer to obtain advice with respect to sexual harassment/hostile work environment questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at the top of this page or through this employment law website are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.