I came across an article in the San Diego Union Tribune regarding the settlement of a sexual harassment claim against Riverside County. Riverside County agreed to pay $490,000 to settle a sexual harassment case as a result of the improper conduct of Dr. Eric Frkyman who was at one time working as a Riverside County public health officer and the Community Health Agency Director. The individual who filed the suit alleged she was subjected to "unwanted and inappropriate advances" and inappropriate touching. After reporting the inappropriate conduct, she was ignored until she was terminated in retaliation for her complaints.
One of the most interesting bits of information in the article was that when the County did its internal investigation and independent review, the County found nothing to support the claims.
So why did this apparently legitimate claim go from nothing after an internal investigation to worth half a million dollars several years later? Her success was because of an attorney that was willing to take on the ex-employee’s case against a powerful entity with ample resources. In most sexual harassment cases, the victim of the harassment is a person who is being taken advantage of by an employer, supervisor or someone with superior authority over the employee. The reason for this, is that a person with a superior position, generally at work, believes he or she can take advantage of a more vulnerable person, usually a woman, knowing that the victim needs his or her job and will put up with more inappropriate contact than someone of equal prominence or position.
Sexual harassment claims should be brought to an attorney who can evaluate the possibility of bringing a claim to not only stop the conduct, but to also secure a proper financial recovery to pay for the damages caused for the emotional, and at times, physical injuries suffered by the victim. Also, if there is a situation where the victim was terminated, quit or lost her job because of the harassment, then securing compensation for all the financial losses is appropriate.
Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of sexual harassment. If you believe you have been subjected to unwanted advances of a sexual or inappropriate nature, contact an experienced attorney in handling sexual harassment cases and take control of your future. Call David H. Ricks & Associates to find the right help to fight back and stand up for your legal rights.
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