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Victim of sexual harassment awarded $102,000 for retaliated firing


Sexual harassment in the workplace comes in numerous forms and an employee doesn't have to be physically threatened by a coworker in order to file a harassment lawsuit against the company, leading to an employment practices insurance claim.

In Harris County, Texas, R. Michael Lee, a gay employee for the Harris County Hospital District, felt "personally attacked" by two coworkers that were talking explicitly about their sexual encounters with women, the Houston Chronicle reports. The man felt so uncomfortable that he filed a sexual harassment complaint to his boss. Instead of punishing the two employees that put him in that unfortunate situation, Lee was fired two weeks later.

Thereafter, a jury voted 10-2 in favor of Lee and awarded him $102,000 in back pay as it found the hospital retaliated against Lee following his sexual harassment claim.

The hospital said it fired Lee for another issue, but the termination may have been viewed as too coincidental, given the proximity of the sexual harassment case.

"While we respect the jury's findings, we disagree with the outcome of the lawsuit and are considering our legal options," the hospital district wrote in a statement, according to the news source.       

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