Arizona residents may have heard about the $32 million settlement reached by Bill O’Reilly to resolve sexual harassment allegations against him. However, this was not the largest settlement reached in a sexual harassment case. That may belong to a former employer at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento. A jury in that case awarded the victim $168 million. However, a judge reduced that amount to $82,230,484, and the case was later settled for an undisclosed amount.
In fact, O’Reilly wasn’t the only person at Fox News involved in a sexual harassment case. Gretchen Carlson was awarded $20 million to settle a charge against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Although the award was never made public, it was confirmed by sources. Carlson alleged that her contract with Fox News was not renewed because she wouldn’t sleep with Ailes.
An Illinois employee of a rental company called Aaron’s Rents initially won $95 million in a case involving the EEOC. The verdict in that case was reduced to $41.3 million because of federal damage caps. Eventually, the case was settled for over $6 million. Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks and the team’s owner were involved in a lawsuit that was eventually settled for $11.5 million. In that case, a woman who had worked for the Knicks claimed that Isaiah Thomas had sexually harassed her.
Workers who are exposed to lewd comments or unwanted sexual advances may be victims of sexual harassment. It may be possible for harassment victims to take steps to seek compensation or other relief. Victims may wish to either talk with an attorney or ask for help from the EEOC. If successful, an individual may entitled to back pay, punitive damages and the value of benefits lost if wrongfully terminated.