Attorney Cortney Shegerian, of the Los Angeles-based employment discrimination firm Shegerian & Associates, has released comments on a recent sexual harassment suit launched against Columbia Business School for $20 million. The suit alleges that a Columbia Business School finance professor, Geert Bekaert, engaged in unwanted sexual advances toward an employee, Ms. Enrichetta Ravina, an assistant professor of finance seeking tenure at the school.
“Examining the details of this case reveals a number of key points regarding sexual harassment cases and the way they can be both costly and damaging to an employer’s reputation- even before they reach the courts,” said Shegerian. “The alleged facts definitely paint an unpleasant picture of the business school.”
“It’s common in sexual harassment cases for employees to feel victimized due to the position of power or authority an employer uses inappropriately to threaten and harass. The unwanted behavior can be so aggressive that the employee feels backed into a corner,” Shegerian went on to say. “In many of these cases, employers truly gamble on the chance that the employee will be so victimized that they won’t speak out about the harassment, which is a particularly troubling phenomenon.”
“Here, if the allegations of sexual harassment are true, and the claims succeed, it will be difficult for Columbia to prove their response to Ms. Ravina’s complaints was fair and in compliance with sex discrimination laws,” Shegerian said. “An employer only fuels the flames by mocking and further demeaning the complaining worker rather than taking the time to thoroughly investigate her claims and take decisive action toward disciplining the accused appropriately.”
Located in Santa Monica, Shegerian & Associates is a law firm specializing in protecting the rights of employees who have been wronged by their employers. Richly experienced in labor and employment law and possessing an unparalleled success record as litigators, Shegerian & Associates is passionately dedicated to serving the needs of its clients. For more information about the firm, visit www.ShegerianLaw.com
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