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$168 Million Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Verdict

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, a California jury recently awarded a hospital employee $168 million, including $125 million in punitive damages, to a female physician assistant who endured two years of sexually inappropriate behavior and then was fired for reporting the harassment as well as patient care violations. The perpetrators included cardiac surgeons. The plaintiff claimed the hospital tolerated their behavior because of the large revenues they generated.

The verdict, one of the largest ever recorded in a sexual harassment case, highlights the need to conduct regular training and education, to take seriously and investigate complaints, and to think long and hard about terminating or taking other action against an employee who has filed a sexual harassment complaint.