In most cases, employees who file sexual harassment claims can’t add a host of other related claims. For example, an employee can’t add a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress if the behavior she describes was essentially sexual harassment.
That’s one less opportunity for an employee to win a large jury award.
Recent case: Beverly Freeman alleged that a co-worker made sexual comments, sent sexually suggestive and explicit links to her personal e-mail account, attempted to grab her buttocks, asked her out on dates and rubbed his hands on her thighs.
She sued under Illinois state law for sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The court tossed out her emotional distress claim, noting that nothing she described went beyond sexual harassment. Because there was no unrelated outrageous conduct, she couldn’t add the claim. (Freeman v. Holy Cross Hospital, No. 10-C-4157, ND IL, 2011)
- Win discrimination, retaliation lawsuits with patience, careful documentation
- Document stressful work conditions to defend against retaliation claim
- When firing follows harassment, watch out! You could be facing a retaliation lawsuit
- Weigh prior discipline when deciding to fire
- Keep cases from escalating: When hot-headed manager blows up, order cooling-off period