Best Ohio Sexual Harassment Attorney Answer: What kind of conduct is needed for a sexual harassment claim under Federal law? Is my employer liable for the sexual harassment by my boss? Can sexual harassment include non-touching acts like comments, statements or other degrading acts based on one’s gender?
Let’s be clear, no one should sexually harass anyone else in the workplace (or anywhere else for that matter). It is wrong every time sexual harassment occurs. But, in my opinion, there it is just more wrong for certain employers to sexually harass their employees. Our Ohio employment law lawyers deal with sexual harassment cases every day. Yet, I’m always amazed when employees come to us for a free consultation and tell us about their lawyer boss sexually harassing them. They are attorneys; they should know the law. But, the story of Craig D. Storey’s sexual harassment of a subordinate made me shake my head even more. You see, Storey is a judge. That’s right, a judge, black robe and all.
We all know that Judges can break laws just like everyone else. We have all read the stories or heard about Judges who take bribes, get involved in some type of political corruption, etc. But we do not hear many stories about a Judge sexually harassing one his clerks. Well a Judge in Utah did exactly that and did not get away with it.
Recently, a Utah federal jury awarded nearly $280,000 in damages to a former Weber County clerk who filed a complaint against Judge Storey alleging that he sexually harassed her in several different ways. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged in her complaint that Judge Storey touched her inappropriately and wrote sexually explicit poems to her. Rounding out the plaintiff’s allegations was the claim that Judge Storey retaliated against her after she rejected his sexual advances. Indeed, the plaintiff, Marcia Eisenhour claims that she was wrongfully terminated from her position after she complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the Judge’s conduct.
Judge Storey defended the claim by denying the touching and claiming that the 11-page semi-erotic love poem was stolen from his office and never intended for Eisenhour to find. He also argued that Eisenhour kept the poem in her possession for four years, waiting to use it as leverage if she was ever fired. The jury did not buy these arguments.
Before filing her law suit, Eisenhour complained to the state Judicial Conduct Commission, who rejected her sex harassment complaint against Judge Storey. Eisenhour also complained to the county, who also refused to do anything. For that, the jury also found that the county was liable in the amount of $30,000.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government. In Ohio, sexual harassment victims can also sue under R.C. § 4112.99. To Under these employment laws, your boss’s or manager’s unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, as well as sexually natured verbal or physical conduct will be sexual harassment when it affects an your employment, interferes with an your ability to perform work, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
In the Eisenhour matter, the poem “detailed her various body parts and his intended affair with her” and also mentioned buying things for her, kissing her on the cheek, touching his “groin” against her, and declaring his love for her. The sex poem read: “I’d love to harvest your sweet grapes,” and called Eisenhour the “most gorgeous thing alive.”
It is hard to imagine a Judge writing this. It’s even harder to imagine how he believed (or maybe he did not care) that this was not overt sexual harassment towards a subordinate employee. What’s worse, according to the complaint, is that once Eisenhour said “no” to Judge Storey’s advances, she suddenly began to perform “poorly” and eventually was placed on administrative leave from her job. Clearly, the jury felt all of this conduct was sexual harassment and retaliation. The end result…a jury verdict worth almost $280,000.
Well, almost end. As you may have guessed, Judge Storey is now appealing the sexual harassment verdict. It is very unlikely that an appellate court will overturn the factual finding of the jury.
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.