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Woman awarded close to $140K for her sexual harassment claim

Every day, too many employees head to work with pits in their stomachs, worrying about what they will be forced to endure in the workplace. Workers in Texas and elsewhere should never be forced to feel uncomfortable or tolerate sexual harassment. It can take a lot of courage for someone to stand up against the treatment, but doing so can help to bring the offending parties to justice.

A woman who was assigned a temporary job as a janitor at a sugar plant claims she was the victim of retaliation because she rebuffed sexual advances from her supervisor. The plaintiff was assigned to work for the company after the plant workers went on strike. While doing her duties there, she was still under the supervision of the agency that hired her.

She claims that her supervisor harassed her on three occasions. According to her complaint, he made comments about her breasts and asked her to move into his hotel room. The plaintiff allegedly turned down all of his advances, and, on his third attempt, he asked her to go out on a date, which she declined.

That same evening, the plaintiff had dinner with a male co-worker, and her supervisor allegedly saw them out together. The following day she was terminated and told it was because she had been doing too much socializing. The plaintiff felt that the reason for her termination was because she had refused her supervisor's advances and went forward with a discrimination claim.

The agency denies that her firing had anything to do with the sexual harassment and stated that it was the sugar plant that wanted her removed. A supervisor from the plant stated that she was not a motivated worker and that he had approached her about her motivational problems, but the plaintiff said that no performance issues were discussed with her. The jury decided in favor of the plaintiff and awarded her nearly $140,000. It is against the law for Texas workers to be forced to suffer sexual harassment, and those who have been victimized can look to the law to right the injustices against them.

Source: agweek.com, "Woman who worked at American Crystal during labor dispute wins sexual harassment case Woman who worked at American Crystal during labor dispute wins sexual harassment case", Sarah Volpenhein, June 3, 2015

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