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How Do I Sue For Being Raped At Work?

by | Jan 6, 2022 | Sexual Harassment |

Best Employment Discrimination Attorney Answers: Do I have to use my real name to sue for sexual harassment? What is quid pro quo sexual harassment? Can I be fired for reporting sex harassment?

Many women come to our employment law attorneys because they have been sexually harassed at work. Too many. Even worse, many women who have been sexually harassed, forced to give sexual favors or even raped do not come forward. Many of those women feel ashamed and alone. No woman should ever feel responsible for what was done to them by their bosses, managers, and owners. It is their fault, not yours. And, as long as our attorneys are here, you will never be alone nor powerless.

Bosses, managers and even very rich owners should never get a pass for sexually harassing employees. This year, Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, has once again been recognized in Newsweek as the top employee’s law firm in the United States – this year focusing our attorney’s recent work to fight for women who have been sexually harassed in the workplace. Rest assured, the lawyers at Spitz are not resting on our laurels but upping the ante to protect women in the workforce from all forms of sexual harassment, including quid pro quo and sexually hostile work environments.

One of the all-time worst sexual harassers is back in the news – Steve Wynn, who you might remember used to own casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada that have his name plastered all over the place. (I poke fun at naming a casino after yourself even though our law firm similarly has only my last name – but Ohio law requires the name of an attorney to be in the firm’s name). The only lawsuits against Wynn for sexually harassing multiple provides good lessons into sexual harassment laws.

Wynn previously settled cases alleging that he raped an employee in 2005 and forced another female employee to have sex with him in 2006. Requiring an employee to have sex or to engage in any type of sexual acts, as a condition of employment is the very definition of quid pro quo sexual harassment. Additionally, when dealing with rape, our lawyers have sued for civil liability for criminal acts.

Apparently undaunted, Wynn’s sexual harassment activities continued. Indeed, the Nevada Gaming Commission’s investigation, which included interviews without over 100 people, revealed a pattern of retaliation against employees that complained of Wynn’s misogynistic and sexually offensive behavior, including wrongful termination of complaining employees. It is very important to understand that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio Revised Code § 4112.01, et al., make it unlawful to retaliate against employees you report or participate in investigations regarding sexual harassment or any other form of discrimination.

The Gaming Commission also found that many executives turned a blind eye or assisted in covering up Wynn’s conduct. Unfortunately, this is not unusual as companies will often look to protect their biggest producers or executives over doing the right thing. This is why it is so important to get the very best lawyers to help you fight the situation and even the odds. (This is especially true when our attorneys will give you a free consultation and will never ask you to pay for anything out of your pocket – we only get paid from winning or settling your claims). Depending on where you live – Ohi, for example – provides laws that allow women to go after other managers, bosses, supervisors, and employees besides the harasser who participated in the retaliation or supported the harassment.

More recently, nine more women sued Wynn and the resort for further sexual harassment by Wynn against each of them. Unfortunately, in July 2020 United States District Court Judge James C. Mahan of the District of Nevada dismissed the women’s lawsuit on the pleadings for “being too vague.” The main reason for the dismissal was that the women sought to pursue the claims under fictious names and provided only generic allegations. Again, the importance of hiring qualified counsel with significant experience in employment litigation should greatly lessen the risk of stumbling over such procedural requirements.

Thankfully, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed this decision this week and is allowing the women’s sexual harassment claims to move forward by amending the complaint to add the required amount of detail. However, the Court of Appeals expressly held that these women – at least temporarily – could pursue the claims without using their real names.  Specifically, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held:

The district court properly dismissed the Judy Does claims for failing to allege sufficient facts to state a claim. However, because the pleading deficiencies in the Judy Does’ complaint could be cured, this case is remanded so that the district court may grant leave to amend. The Judy Does should be permitted to file their amended complaint under fictitious names, at which point the district court should reassess the motion to proceed under fictitious names, carefully applying the Ninth Circuit test as articulated in Does I thru XXIII v. Advanced Textile Corp., 214 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2000) and Doe v. Kamehameha Schools, 596 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2010).

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 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At Spitz, The Employee’s 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. Call our top attorneys in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Youngstown and Detroit.

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 if I was raped at work”, “I’m being sexually harassed …” “my supervisor grabbed my butt”, “my boss is touching me,” “I’ve been wrongfully terminated for reporting sex harassment,” or “how do I sue my employer”, 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 Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.