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Temp worker wins nearly $140k for her sexual harassment lawsuit

No one enjoys being rejected, but if someone declines an invitation for a date or rejects any type of social pressure, that answer should be respected and the persistence stopped. This situation is especially true in the workplace. Employees in California and elsewhere who can't take no for an answer or don't control the things that they say may be accused of sexual harassment.

After a lockout due to a labor dispute at American Crystal Sugar Co., a temporary workforce from Strom Engineering was brought on board so that the company could maintain operations. One of the temps, a female janitor, claims that she was harassed by her Strom supervisor. According to her complaint, her supervisor harassed her on two occasions by making comments about her breasts and even asking her to stay with him in his hotel room. On the third occasion, he allegedly asked her to go out on a date with him, which she declined.

That same evening, the plaintiff was having dinner with a another male colleague, and her supervisor apparently saw them together. The following day, the plaintiff was alleged terminated, allegedly due to the fact that she was spending too much time socializing. Strom contends that it was American Crystal who decided to fire the plaintiff for substandard performance and that her supervisor had not made that decision.

The plaintiff asserts that she was never told that her work performance had been poor; rather, she alleges that she was the victim of sexual harassment. The jury decided in her favor and awarded her $136,781. Strom's lawyer indicated that a retrial will be sought and/or the jury's decision will be appealed. It is against the law for California workers to be subjected to sexual harassment on the job, and those who are aggrieved have the legal right to pursue recourse.

Source: twincities.com, "$140,000 awarded in American Crystal Sugar Co. workplace lawsuit", Sarah Volpenhein, June 3, 2015

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