The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Jacksonville, Illinois resident Stella Davidson has filed a lawsuit against attorney Alan Applebee, alleging that he sexually harassed her while she was employed as his legal assistant from 2005 through 2008, and then fired her when she protested.
According to the story carried by the Jacksonville Journal-Courier:
Davidson’s court action comes in the wake of a determination by the state department of Human Rights that there “is substantial evidence that a civil rights violation has been committed.”
Davidson’s complaint alleges acts of sexual harassment by Applebee, including inappropriate touching and keeping pornography in his office, but the most startling allegation reported in the article is that Applebee once went to Davidson’s home and crawled into her bed while she was asleep.
Regardless of the outcome of this civil action, whether it’s settled between the parties or ultimately decided by a jury, many of the reader comments at the end of the story, some from people who say they know one or both parties, are harsh. These kinds of cases can ruin reputations and careers. Not only should they not be undertaken lightly, but they shouldn’t be tried in the forum of public opinion.
Sexual harassment continues to be a problem for many employees. The EEOC published the following statistics for 2008 charges at its site:
In Fiscal Year 2008, EEOC received 13,867 charges of sexual harassment. 15.9% of those charges were filed by males. EEOC resolved 11,731 sexual harassment charges in FY 2008 and recovered $47.4 million in monetary benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation).
Know your rights regarding unlawful sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, in the workplace.