Name Calling, Obscene Gestures May Constitute Sexual Harassment

A jury has awarded a woman over $13 million in back pay and damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit. Sexual harassment, although widely recognized, lacks a clear definition. It is not simply a single instance of name-calling, a request for a date, or a leering look. To establish a case of sexual harassment, one must demonstrate that they have been subjected to unwelcome conduct that creates a hostile work environment based on their sex. This conduct must be sufficiently severe and pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of their employment.

In this particular case, the woman provided evidence of pervasive name-calling. One individual referred to her as “Big Girl,” belittling her for her 6-foot-tall stature. Another made obscene gestures, and a third dismissed her complaints by suggesting she was losing her mind. Instead of addressing the discriminatory behavior as required by law, the harassment persisted.

The woman endured this harassment for six years and was ultimately terminated in retaliation for her complaints, according to the lawsuit.

The jury agreed with her claims and awarded her $13 million, with $12.5 million designated as punitive damages.

At Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, our experienced Georgia sexual harassment attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of workplace harassment. We are dedicated to safeguarding employment rights and fighting against discrimination. For more information, please contact our Georgia employment discrimination law firm for a confidential case evaluation.