Here's an article from Forbes.com that remind us of the consequences that can attend incidents of sexual harassment. The case comes to us from idyllic Hawaii. An airline flight attendant claimed that the pilot of a flight that she worked grabbed her buttocks after the flight and continued to harass her for the rest of the day. She complained to her employer which, she said, did nothing.
The jury agreed. It awarded her $120,000 in compensatory damages, $250,000 in punitive damages against the airline, and $140,000 in punitive damages against the pilot personally. That's $510,000 plus attorney's fees and court costs.
We tell this to our clients and friends all the time, but it's worth repeating here. Every claim of sexual harassment should be taken seriously and investigated impartially. Failure to follow this simple rule can cost businesses a lot of money and embarrassment, as the defendants here learned the hard way.