• Archives

  • Jury Awards Employee $8.5 Million In Sex Harassment Case

    Justice was recently served to a Price is Right Model – and that justice came in the form of an $8.5 million dollar judgment. Not often someone wins that kind of money, not even on the Price Is Right. But this was no game show — and as jurors demonstrated, sex harassment of any nature, is definitely not to be taken lightly.

    Brandi Cochran took maternity leave in 2008. Then, when attempting to return to work in 2010 she was told her job was no longer available. Her former employer argued that the game show’s producers were satisfied with the 5 models working on the show at the time Cochran sought her return. The jury however, was not hearing that – Instead, they rightfully interpreted California law in Brandi’s favor – and by doing so, awarded her the $8.5 million — $7.7 million in punitive damages, and $777,000 in compensatory damages.

    The punitive damages serve to set a precedent to employers about maternity laws. So if you, like Brandi are denied the right to return to work after maternity leave, do not hesitate – contact an Orange County sex harassment attorney immediately. After all, Brandi Cochran is not alone. Sex harassment attorneys in Orange County take cases of this nature on a daily basis. Maternity leave is a legal right – and if that right is denied, there will, and should be consequences.

    As the jury demonstrated in this case, California maternity leave laws are highly regarded because of the degree of protection they afford. The state’s maternity laws are supplemented by federal laws, notably the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which also protects female employees who take maternity leave. Under California law, a pregnant woman can request reasonable accommodations. And in doing so, her employer must provide that accommodation. Failure to do so is a violation of the law and may result in a financial award.

    “I’m humbled. I’m shocked,” Cochran said after the jury announced its verdict. “I’m happy that justice was served today not only for women in the entertainment industry, but women in the workplace.”

    Sex harassment is considered a form of discrimination and as in this case, does not have to be “sexual” in nature. An Orange County sexual harassment lawyer can give you more information on California state laws, as they apply specifically to your case. So do not hesitate. Contact one today.  An Orange County sexual harassment attorney can be contacted at (949) 260-9131.