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Can My Boss Fire Me If I Refuse His Sexual Advances? Help, I Need The Best Sex Harassment Lawyer In Ohio!

| Jul 11, 2016 | Employment Discrimination, Gender Discrimination, Sexual Harassment, Wrongful Termination |

Best Ohio Sexual Harassment Lawyer Reply: If I work in a male dominated industry, do I have to put up with sexual banter? What do I do if the men at my job are treated better than me? Is my boss allowed to touch me and get away with it?

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Don’t hold it against me, but my favorite spy movies involve Austin Powers, the international man of mystery. Debuting in 1997 and starring comedic all-star Mike Myers, the movies are satires aimed at poking fun at predictable spy movie plots. You know the plots I’m talking about – an evil villain concocts a scheme to end the world. The only thing standing in his way is a dapper male spy who is equally skilled in intellectual strategy, martial arts, hob knobbing with society’s elite, and courting women. Somehow, the villain ends up capturing the spy’s current romantic partner and the spy must save both the world and his love interest from certain doom. Finally, the spy is successful – he saves the world and gets the girl.

The funny thing about predictable spy movies and spoofs thereof is that the villains usually have these moments where they can totally and completely win, but they always blow it by letting the power of sure victory go to their head. Instead of just taking out the protagonist spy – they play mind games, engage in torture, or get greedy and try to take on too much before their plans unravel.

The not so funny thing about sexual harassment cases is that just like in a spy movie the worst villains are often motivated less by the desire for sex, and more for the power and control that they derive from their manipulation situations. This is very unfortunate for the subordinate female employees of sexual harassers. The recent allegations being brought to light by women claiming to have been subjected to sexual harassment by Fox News CEO Roger Ailes certainly portray him less like a caring and professional boss and more like a megalomaniac Bond villain.

The various allegations about Ailes have sprung up after former Fox new personality, Gretchen Carlson, sued the network and Ailes claiming that her contract wasn’t renewed out of retaliation for both refusing Ailes’ sexual advances and complaining about gender discrimination and sexual harassment. In Carlson’s complaint filed July 6, 2016, she claims that Ailes engaged in the following conduct:

  • During a meeting between Carlson and Ailes, Ailes said, “I think you and I should have had a sexually relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better.” Ailes finished his comment off by stating, “sometimes problems are easier to solve” in that manner;
  • Ailes called Carlson, “man hater” and told her she was “sexy” but too much work;
  • Ailes told Carlson to wear certain outfits that accentuated her figure and regularly commented on her legs;
  • Ailes told Carlson he remained seated when women approached him so that they’d have to “bend over” to say hello;
  • Ailes told Carlson he had the power to make things happen in her career if she listened to him and “understood” what he was saying;
  • Ailes told others that he had slept with three other “Miss Americas” but not Carlson.
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In her sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaint, Carlson alleges that she complained about being treated differently because of her gender and frequently rebuffed Ailes’ advances during her 11 year employment at Fox, and that after her complaint or rejection Ailes took action to sabotage her employment and career. Carlson claims Ailes denied her access to key interviews, prime time guest appearances on other Fox shows, social media and marketing promotions for her show, and gave her a less desirable time slot for her show.

Although her claim has only recently been filed, in just the last few days more accounts have surfaced from women who claim that Ailes engaged in similar conduct with them. These accounts span more than 50 years. Some of the accounts reported include the following allegations:

  • Marsha Callahan, a former model, claims that she had to appear in Ailes’ office before she could appear on a TV show. Ailes told the model to wear a garter belt and stockings. When the model appeared he forced her to lift her skirt up and do certain poses with her legs. She complied and then Ailes told her she’d have to sleep with him to be on the show;
  • A former RNC field adviser, Kellie Boyle claims that Ailes ruined employment prospects for her after she refused to have sex with him. Boyle claims that she had a professional business dinner with Ailes who then offered to take her back to her friend’s house. While in the car, Ailes told Boyle, “you know if you want to play with the big boys, you have to lay with the big boys.” Ailes also named several women he’d been with then said all men in media and politics work the same way and that “everyone’s got their friend.” Boyle asked if she’d have to be friends with other men and Ailes told Boyles she may have to “give a blow job every once in a while.” After Boyle refused, a friend high up in the RNC told her that, “word went out you weren’t to be hired.”
  • An anonymous former model claims that when she was 16 years old she appeared in Ailes’ office before she could appear on a TV show. When the girl appeared, Ailes locked the door took out his genitals and told the young girl to, “kiss them.” When she refused, Ailes chased her around the office then opened a door on his desk where a reel-to-reel tape recorder was rolling;
  • An anonymous former model/actress claims that during a time when her agent was trying to get her into broadcasting she had a meeting with Ailes. At their meeting Ailes told her to put on a garter belt and stockings and model them for him. She complied then a sexual action took place.

Although there are not many women who have jobs like Carlson, that doesn’t mean that female employees don’t have similar experiences at their job to those described above. As our employment discrimination attorneys have previously blogged about, in Ohio pursuant to Revised Code § 4112.02 and under federal law contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act employees are protected against employment discrimination based on gender. (Do I Have A Claim For Gender Discrimination? ; Should I Sue For Gender Discrimination?; and Can I Sue If My Boss Favors Female Employees Over Men?). Moreover, an employer cannot retaliate against employees after they complain about unlawful sexual harassment, which includes wrongful termination. (see Can I Be Fired Because I Complained About Discrimination?; What Should I Do If I’m Fired For Reporting Sex Harassment?; What Can I Do If My Manager Is Sexually Harassing Me?).

Where the boss or manager demands sexual favors in exchange for job benefits or security, it is called quid pro quo sexual harassment. Where the whole work environment becomes sexually charged and it becomes difficult to work in, it is called a sexually hostile work environment. Both are illegal and both are at issue in Carlson’s claims against Fox.

Carlson’s claims are just in the beginning stages, and we will keep reporting the details as they come in.

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.

Disclaimer:

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.