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Sexual harassment lawsuit involving pastor settled

A woman in another state filed a lawsuit alleging she was sexually harassed in the workplace after she said a pastor at a private Christian academy rubbed against, hugged and grabbed her. She claimed she was fired from her kindergarten teaching job after complaining about the behavior, which is illegal in Texas and other states. This sexual harassment lawsuit was recently settled for $25,000.

The woman named the pastor as one of the defendants in her lawsuit, which was consolidated with a suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. The man was arrested back in 2014 for simple battery related to unwanted physical contact (misdemeanor charges). At that time, he pleaded no contest and got probation. He also resigned from his position at the church.

The church affiliated with the school initially blamed the woman for the alleged sexual harassment, claiming that she allowed it to occur. However, the church recently agreed to pay the woman $25,000 to settle the EEOC suit. As part of this agreement, the church will also make an amendment to its sexual harassment policy and will train workers each year on laws regarding discrimination and harassment based on sex, as well as retaliation.

In addition to sexual harassment's being illegal according to federal law, it is illegal for a company to retaliate against a worker for making a complaint about such harassment. An individual in Texas who suffers from this type of harassment has the right to seek to hold accountable the alleged perpetrator of the harassment. Various reparation may result from a case that is successfully navigated in Texas, such as back pay or even placement in a job.

Source: ajc.com, "Douglasville church pays to settle sexual harassment lawsuit", Lois Norder, Sept. 2, 2016

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