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Lawsuit: Texas county government failed to stop sexual harassment

There are many ways an individual can feel threatened in the workplace. When it comes to sexual harassment, a man or a woman may allege a superior or other employee has behaved inappropriately. These cases can become extremely complicated, especially when it comes to clearing a business of any wrongdoing. As one recent lawsuit illustrates, harassment cases are rarely cut-and-dry.

A female Galveston County Constable allegedly repeatedly harassed her deputy constable, a 51-year-old man, over the course of six months. The man resigned his post in 2011 after a district attorney launched an investigation against him, claiming that he was trying to gain evidence of sexual harassment. The former deputy constable was not found to have done anything wrong, and in 2012, he filed a suit against the county for his former boss' alleged actions.

According to the man, the woman pretended to give him a lap dance, asked him to touch her breasts and pulled her shirt over his head. His attorney said the county did not take the appropriate actions to stop the woman’s behavior. The attorney representing the county said the man elected to participate in the behavior in the hopes of making money from a lawsuit. A Texas jury sided with the plaintiff, awarding him $567,000, which was $200,000 more than what he was seeking in damages.

When an employee claims he or she has been sexually harassed, it is imperative for a business owner to seek the counsel of an attorney. Employment discrimination cases can result in suits that can be costly. A lawyer may be able to help protect a company from lawsuits.

Source: International Business Times, “Texas man wins sexual harassment case against female boss: Jury awards James Gist $567K in Pam Matranga Case,” Howard Koplowitz, March 24, 2014

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