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Sexual Harassment Secret Settlements

For those who have been following the news recently, it is practically impossible to go a mere hour without hearing the phrase “NDA”. You may also be noticing other legal terminology used in conjunction with sexual harassment cases. After all, non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreement have become an industry standard when sexual harassment cases are being settled. However, questions about the ethics of these agreements have been dominating the conversation recently.

Due to Daren Lipinsky’s vast experience advocating for those who have been sexually harassed, the senior trial attorney has been called upon to consult various groups and participate in informational hearings. When California’s state legislature wanted to expand its knowledge on the topic, they asked Lipinsky to enlighten the group on the details and intricacies of the way these cases are often settled. Not only did the lawyer shed light on the facts and statistics, but he also provided the group with his unique perspective after 20 years of litigating such cases.

For instance, many people tend to believe that sexual harassment only occurs in certain industries, but this is far from the truth. From low-level banking employees to those who hold glamorous positions in the entertainment industry, the list of victims spans a stunning array of sectors. Furthermore, after detailing the actions of their accusers and reliving the painful scenarios over and over again, many victims are traumatized and crave a sense of closure. Perhaps they don’t want to be continuously characterized by one of the worst times in their life, so they choose to sign agreements that will prevent the details of their stories from being publicized.

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Sexual Harassment Defined

Although most individuals believe that sexual harassment was isolated to the era of Mad Men, recent high profile sexual harassment cases demonstrate that sexual harassment is still a rampant problem in the workplace. Regardless, employees are often afraid and embarrassed to come forward and report sexual harassment. This fear steams from a misguided belief that an employer can retaliate against an employee if he or she reports harassment. This is not true. Sexual Harassment. Although most individuals believe that sexual harassment was isolated to the era of Mad Men, recent high profile sexual harassment cases demonstrate that sexual harassment is still a rampant problem in the workplace. Regardless, employees are often afraid and embarrassed to come forward and report sexual harassment. This fear steams from a misguided belief that an employer can retaliate against an employee if he or she reports harassment. This is not true.

Currently, there are two laws to be aware of when it comes to sexual harassment in the California workplace. The two laws that govern sexual harassment is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), otherwise known California Government Code section 12940(j). Section 12940(j) defines sexual harassment as “harassment based on sex or of a sexual nature; gender harassment; and harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The definition of sexual harassment includes many forms of offensive behavior, including harassment of a person of the same gender as the harasser.” The following is a partial list of different types of sexual harassment:

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