Sexual Harassment Lawsuits: Even When You Win, You Lose
Reader JC left a comment on a recent post about sexual harassment that led me to a Feminist Law Professor post on a sexual harassment lawsuit against Brigham & Women’s Hospital. It is a post well worth reading, if you have ever wondered why more women don’t sue over sexual harassment, or why women don’t just speak up immediately and complain at the first sign of harassing behavior. Maybe you have been secretly suspecting that women who file sexual harassment charges or lawsuits just have some ax to grind and/or are trying to ruin some Nice Man’s career because they are bitter pre-/post-menopausal shrews and are just doing this to get sympathy. Uh huh. Well, read this, my dears, and be disabused of all your false ideas and pretty fantasies about how easy it is to file these lawsuits, and just what it means to “win” one. Here’s a taste:
So even if you get a verdict like this, the amount is barely enough to cover the costs of litigation (that’s definitely true here) because the impact of the attacks on your livelihood, professional reputation, etc. is minimized. You of course realize that this woman is now marked for life: she will never, never, ever, get a job offer from any other hospital in this country. So, the bonus payoff here is, she gets to work in an environment where she is ostracized, despised, feared, and hated – barred from any leadership position – and will never be taken seriously as a decision-maker or policy-maker – for the rest of her professional life. And that’s because she WON!