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Taking the first step

An hour north of Miami, a community redevelopment board member and city commissioner is under fire. He's accused of sexual harassment, news reports indicate.

A TV station says the Boyton Beach city commissioner can't be asked to resign and can't be fired "because he's an elected official," the mayor said. But a request could be sent to the governor, who could then remove him from office. According to the station's report, an investigation has already determined that the commissioner made unwelcome comments to staff members and inappropriately touched a board member.

For many people, that might beg the question: why has no one asked the governor to intervene and terminate the man's employment? We can't answer that question, but we can tell you that in similar situations in which there is evidence of harassment -- as well as evidence that the employer did little or nothing to protect employees from continuing unacceptable behavior in the workplace -- a legal claim can be filed against the employer. In some situations, those claims result in significant compensation for the victim who had to endure ongoing harassment.

The first step in learning more about potentially filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against an employer is to discuss your specific circumstances with an experienced employment law attorney. It is best to find an attorney who has been through the complex litigation and negotiation process and one who can apprise you of the legal hurdles involved. In that way, you can make informed decisions about your situation.

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