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New York Post harassment lawsuit goes to trial

Missouri business owners and employees may want to take notice of the sexual harassment case involving the New York Post brought by a former editor. A district court ruled that the newspaper and its editor-in-chief will have to answer to the charges of unlawful termination and sexual harassment in court. The 38-page complaint was filed in 2009.

According to the plaintiff, she was fired in 2009 after she openly objected to an editorial cartoon that portrayed a chimpanzee as the author of President Obama's stimulus plan. Prior to her dismissal, she claims she was subjected to numerous instances of sexual harassment and racism, including other editors singing "West Side Story" songs when she walked past them.

Some of the cited acts of sexual harassment were allegedly committed by the editor-in-chief himself. The lawsuit alleges that he showed pictures of a naked man on his Blackberry to the plaintiff and other women at a company party. The suit also states that another male editor offered a reporter position to a female copy assistant in exchange for oral sex.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can take many forms. If employment decisions and promotions are based on an employee's response to sexual advances or if the work environment is overtly offensive to one gender, sexual harassment may be occurring and an employee who is uncomfortable in that atmosphere may have an actionable claim against the employer. A lawyer who has experience in employment law may examine the employee handbook to help a worker follow the employer's policy and determine if a lawsuit should be filed in the case. Many sexual harassment claims are settled out of court, and an attorney may be able to help negotiate a settlement on behalf of the employee.

Source: Yahoo, "The New York Post Will Have to Face Its Sexual Harassment Lawsuit", Zach Schonfeld, October 29, 2013

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