Yet another woman in Los Angeles accuses a powerful man of sexual assault, but is our country – and Los Angeles, where sexual misconduct allegations have spread like wildfire, specifically – doing anything to address the never-ending outpouring of allegations?
Since the New York Times published an exposé on Harvey Weinstein in early October, making public dozens of women’s sexual misconduct allegations against the Hollywood producer, women’s voices and the #MeToo campaign have flooded the media with sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape accusations against celebrities, powerful and lesser-known men.
On Thursday, November 16, a Los Angeles TV host accused Senator Al Franken of Minnesota of sexual misconduct, which included kissing and groping her breasts without her consent.
The alleged incident involving Sen. Franken and Leeann Tweeden took place in 2006 during a United Service Organizations tour to entertain military service members abroad.
Tweeden, now 44, accused the 66-year-old senator of sticking his tongue in her mouth during a rehearsal for a skit during the tour. Later, Franken allegedly groped her breasts while she was asleep and asked somebody else to take a picture of the humiliating moment.
The Los Angeles TV host has not taken legal action against Sen. Franken as far as the media is concerned.
Tweeden had kept the disturbing incident involving the senator in secret for over a decade, as she said she was worried about retaliation and potential damage to her broadcasting career.
A Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney here at JML Law explains that even though #MeToo is mushrooming in our country and hundreds of women have come forward to accuse men of sexual misconduct in the workplace across many industries, many women still choose to remain silent out of fear of retaliation.
However, our sexual harassment attorney insists that keeping sexual harassment and assault secret can do even more damage to your career and your health than speaking up about it.
In fact, courts in Los Angeles take sexual harassment and assault claims more seriously than ever before now that the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has put together a team of investigators to handle and investigate the ever-growing number of sex crimes in Los Angeles.
Last week, District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that the new task force would consist of “specially trained deputy district attorneys” and “a group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors” to evaluate and prosecute sexual harassment and assault cases.
But you can’t go straight to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office to file a sexual misconduct claim, JML Law’s sexual harassment attorney explains. Under federal and state laws in California, you’re required to file a formal complaint with your company’s Human Resources (HR) department (if there is one) before filing a complaint with the EEOC.
However, don’t forget that HR staffers were hired to protect the company’s reputation, not the reputation of individual employees. Therefore, filing a complaint with the HR department may be counterproductive and even give your employer enough time to cover up evidence of sexual misconduct (if possible).
If you were sexually harassed or assaulted at work in Los Angeles, seek the legal advice of an experienced Los Angeles sexual harassment attorney before filing a complaint with the HR department or the EEOC to minimize the chances of retaliation and maximize your chances of winning a settlement.
JML Law has been at the forefront of the battle for employees’ rights in Los Angeles for over 35 years now, with our sexual harassment lawyers helping clients recover five- to eight-figure settlements and verdicts in sexual misconduct cases.