In a $2.4 million confidential settlement, Darrell Cochran and Patrick Brown helped a King County woman resolve claims against her Seattle employer for on-the-job sexual abuse and harassment perpetrated by a supervisor and co-workers.
“Our client worked in conditions that were difficult enough: a heavily male-dominated career where the network of good ole boys dictated every important employment decision,” Darrell said. “She endured that for years because she loved what she did. But, then, she was raped by a supervisor. She reported it. No changes were made.”
Despite reporting her supervisor’s sexually aggressive and harassing behavior, her employer continued to employ the perpetrator and failed to create a reasonably safe working environment free of sexual harassment and retaliatory conduct.
“The egregious nature of the employer’s neglect is some of the worst I have ever seen,” Patrick said. “Despite several managers having knowledge of my client being raped by a dangerous predator, no one did anything to protect her, not even after a substantiated independent investigation.”
“They left her in this rapist’s toxic hell hole of a work environment, never knowing what might happen to her next. She had to decide, ‘Do I just give up and run away, or do I stay here and fight for what I love to do,” Darrell said.
The plaintiff stayed and fought. Yet, the trauma and fear caused by the abuse never went away. While the settlement will not erase this suffering, it will at least provide resources to help with what will be a lifetime of coping.
“Employers who turn a blind eye on allegations are the reason why so many sexual abuse and sexual harassment victims do not come forward and continue to work in an unhealthy, traumatizing, and toxic environment,” Patrick said.
“Our client’s courage and perseverance will make a difference for the young women who follow her into the workforce,” Darrell said. “We are really proud of her.”