In wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein and Brett Kavanaugh, women are sharing stories on various social media platforms to demonstrate the prevalence and scope of sexual harassment and assault. Actress, Alyssa Milano, is credited for spreading the #metoo movement or campaign when she posted the following Tweet on October 15, 2017:
It appears that thousands of users, including various celebrities, tweeted “Me too” and shared their experiences on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Every case has a winning story… Richard A. Apodaca, Esq.
The scale of harassment allegations has even reached the White House, and former president, George H.W. Bush, who recently had allegations surface and reported by the website Deadspin. The allegations include former President Bush groping two actresses, and while on at least one occasion announcing his favorite magician was “David Cop-a-Feel.”
More recently, in Senate Hearings, for appointment to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, was confronted and questioned on statements made by Dr. Christine Ford, with respect to sexual assault.
It appears the #metoo movement is spreading everywhere. Based on scope and magnitude of support for the #metoo campaign, victims of harassment and discrimination in the workplace, should feel encouraged by the prospect that their co-workers will stand up and be heard with them. The time to expose your harasser or abuser is now. If you, a family member, or co-worker have witnessed or been a victim harassment or assault, we here at RA LAW LLP encourage you to join in the campaign, speak up, and make sure you are heard.
An important realization to be taken by this #metoo campaign is that California courts in employment cases have already acknowledged that other prior victims of harassment or discrimination may be supportive of an employee-victim’s claim for discrimination, harassment and support an award of punitive damages. (See Sprint v. Mendelsohn (2008) 552 U.S. 379; Obrey v. Johnson (9th Cir. 2005) 400 F.3d 691; see also Johnson v. United Cerebral Palsy/Spastic Children’s Foundation (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 740, 767; Pantoja v. Anton (2011) 198 Cal.App.4th 87.) Depending on how sufficiently similar the #metoo evidence is, courts have permitted the prior victim evidence to be used – even when the victim had only witnessed or heard about the prior harassment. (See Beyda v. City of Los Angles (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 511; Pantoja, supra, at p. 402-403.) The significance of #metoo evidence in employment cases cannot be overlooked and as evident from this #metoo campaign – victims have never spoken so loudly about it.
No matter the situation, sexual harassment or discrimination is wrong. Whether the harasser is a movie industry mogul, former President of the United States, or Supreme Court Justice, the #metoo campaign should inspire YOU to speak up for your rights. We here at RA LAW firmly believe in this fight to seek justice and equality on behalf of workers and victims in California.
I firmly believe that every person has a voice and that employers and other wrongdoers need to be held accountable. I urge you to contact our office at 909-944-3777
if you have any questions. I look forward to meeting you and making a change.
RODRIGUEZ APODACA LAW FIRM LLP
Richard A. Apodaca, Esq.