For several years a woman was sexually harassed by her boss, an executive at a national marketing company. The woman worked and lived in California and the boss lived and worked in the Midwest and occasionally made work visits to California. Every time the perp entered California he sexually pursued the plaintiff, thereby, allegedly creating a hostile work environment. The company did an investigation which substantiated most of the plaintiffs’ claims, but did not fire the perpetrator; rather, they reduced his salary and changed his responsibilities. Once the litigation was filed the company took the position that the plaintiff “participated” in the sexual harassment and was not offended based on the fact that she wrote friendly e-mails to the perpetrator calling him pet-names. Winer, McKenna, & Burritt took the position that plaintiff was forced by defendant to engage in this participatory behavior in order to maintain her high-paying job, Further, the law firm built up plaintiffs credibility and established that she was traumatized by the sexual harassment and overall control which the perpetrator took over the plaintiffs work life. With very minimal litigation the law firm was able to obtain a significant settlement in the case.
RESULT: $400,000 settlement on behalf of plaintiff.