Everybody deserves to be free from harassment in the workplace. However, more people are experiencing harassment by their work supervisors every day. This is especially common for women that are subordinates to male supervisors at a job. One woman working at Mencarini Winery in California is claiming this is exactly what happened to her. She is suing the winery in an alleged sexual harassment lawsuit.
This is the third sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the winery and its owner, who the plaintiff describes as ‘unattractive and grossly overweight.’ The plaintiff is also the fourth woman to sue the defendant for sexual harassment. The defendant also owns several vineyards in the California wine region famous for its zinfandel grapes. The other lawsuits were filed in March of this year and Dec. 2011. The latter lawsuit was filed by two women as co-plaintiffs.
Each lawsuit accuses the defendant of hiring the women in order to attempt to have sex with them. The lawsuits also claimed that the defendant retaliated when the women rejected his sexual advances. Each defendant alleged that the plaintiff took the women out on a golf cart claiming to be giving them a tour of the vineyard; however, the real reason was to attempt to have sex with them. Each woman also claimed that the defendant made constant sexual and inappropriate remarks on a daily basis.
The women could be awarded monetary damages if they are able to prove their sexual harassment claims against the California winery and its owner in court. However, the plaintiffs must make their arguments and present their evidence carefully. They must first establish what they claim occurred and that the facts proved constitute sexual harassment. If a court agrees, the damages claimed to have been suffered due as a result of the alleged conduct must also be documented. With so much at stake, a defendant is likely going to contest the allegations by attempting to discredit the factual claims, and the right advice may assist a sexual harassment victim in ensuring they get their day in court to prove the claims.
Source: Courthouse News services, “Women Say Harassment Just Wouldn’t Stop,” William Dotinga, Aug. 2, 2012