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Are Sexual Harassment Settlements Part of the Cost of Doing Business?

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Published on Nov 10, 2011

According to a recent CNN article, some experts say yes they are.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is in the spotlight once again thanks to Republican Presidential Contender Herman Cain. Mr. Cain has recently been addressing allegations of inappropriate conduct. The allegations come from two women who are former employees of the National Restaurant Association. Mr Cain led the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Mr. Cain claims he was falsely accused, and that a thorough investigation found that the allegations were baseless; he did acknowledge that a confidential settlement was reached.

Confidential settlements in sexual harassment claims is a common practice. According to attorney Gloria Allred, confidential settlements are extremely common and many of them are done prior to any lawsuit being filed. According to Ms. Allred, the purpose is to avoid litigation and "keep it confidential, because once it's filed it becomes public record."

In this installment, we talk about what constitutes sexual harassment, some suggestions on sexual harassment prevention, and common ways to investigate sexual harassment allegations. We conclude with a discussion of sexual harassment settlements, and whether they truly are part of the cost of doing business.

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