File it under “Ironic.” A Chicago attorney whose firm specializes in filing class-action lawsuits is being sued by a group of six women who say he sexually harassed them.
They accuse Paul Weiss, partner in the law firm Freed & Weiss, of making inappropriate comments and propositioning them.
One former employee claims Weiss homed in on her shortly after she started working at the firm, complimenting her on her appearance and even suggesting she wear a swimsuit to the office. When she demurred, she claims Weiss persisted, frequently asking her to take off her blouse and offering her money to “do him favors.”
She resigned in December 2010 after claiming Weiss made “constant and intolerable” comments to her. Weiss claims the firm had already decided to terminate the woman when she resigned, and the sexual harassment claims are a smokescreen to cover her. He was silent on the motivations of the other women who joined the lawsuit.
Note: Once an employee is accused of sexual harassment, the lingering charges make the employee a target. Employers have an obligation to quickly and fairly investigate sexual harassment charges and either exonerate or discipline the employee. Either result limits employer liability if the alleged victim decides to sue.
- Where there's smoke, there's fire ... or, in some cases, no hire
- Firing a troublemaker? Focus on concrete business reasons
- Applicant has solid work history? That's a legitimate reason for promotion
- HR investigations must go beyond supervisor suggestions
- When push comes to shove, no retaliation unless protected right was violated first