There are several different federal employment laws which prohibit an employer from engaging in discrimination. Discrimination can come in many forms, and these laws prohibit discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, age, nationality and disabilities. Discrimination based on these factors can be somewhat subtle, and cases alleging discrimination can be quite complex and sometimes difficult to prove. There are other types of cases, however, that can be a bit more straightforward, and many times these cases involve sexual harassment.
A recent article detailed how a large, well-funded venture capital fund has found itself on the wrong side of a sexual harassment claim. Three women have come forward to allege that one of the firm's higher-placed executives was the perpetrator of numerous, continual instances of sexual harassment, and sometimes the alleged actions were very profane. There were also claims of racial discrimination in the case as well.
The venture capital firm has come out especially strong against the allegations, and the reports indicate that the firm has denied all wrongdoing. The executive included in the compliant had already left the firm for a different position at the time of the discrimination claim's filing.
Only time will tell whether this case is settled or proceeds to litigation. However, Colorado employees who believe they have been the victim of sexual harassment should be aware of the need for strict adherence to specific timelines. In Colorado, a discrimination claim must be made to the Colorado Civil Rights Division or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days of the alleged discriminatory acts. Failure to comply with this timeline could severely complicate a potential claim - or result in no path forward altogether.
Source: Forbes, "CMEA Capital Sued For Sexual Harassment," Tomio Geron, March 8, 2013