Close-up Of Sexual Harassment Complaint Form With Pen At Desk

CBS Les Moonves Case Keeps Employee Sexual Assault and Harassment Lawsuits in the News

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

More and more, we keep hearing about disheartening and horrifying claims of sexual harassment and assault, including incidents in the workplace. One newly detailed incident has received an extraordinary amount of attention: Les Moonves was recently fired as CBS’s longtime Chairman and CEO, and is currently facing at least twelve accusations of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault.

Background of the Les Moonves Case.

In August, an article published by the New Yorker revealed allegations by six women that Moonves had sexually harassed them. The article also revealed complaints by dozens of other women that CBS tolerated sexual misconduct as part of its workplace culture. Earlier this month, six more women came forward accusing Moonves of sexual harassment and assault spanning the course of four decades.

The claims against Moonves are appalling. As the journalist Ronan Farrow describes in his most recent New Yorker article about the situation:

“They include claims that Moonves forced them to perform oral sex on him, that he exposed himself to them without their consent, and that he used physical violence and intimidation against them. A number of the women also said that Moonves retaliated after they rebuffed him, damaging their careers. … [A] veteran television executive named Phyllis Golden-Gottlieb, told me that she filed a criminal complaint late last year with the Los Angeles Police Department, accusing Moonves of physically restraining her and forcing her to perform oral sex on him, and of exposing himself to her and violently throwing her against a wall in later incidents. The two worked together in the late nineteen-eighties. Law-enforcement sources told me that they found Golden-Gottlieb’s allegations credible and consistent but prosecutors declined to pursue charges because the statutes of limitations for the crimes had expired.”

Why Do These Cases Keep Happening?

There is never any excuse for sexual harassment or assault, especially in the workplace, so why do we keep hearing about these cases? Unfortunately, sexual harassment and assault are not new phenomena. Until relatively recently, many victims have been reluctant to bring their cases forward due to shame, denial, or fear. However, the #MeToo movement and decreasing stigma associated with these kinds of experiences has created an environment in which more victims feel comfortable bringing cases.

What Does California Law Say?

In California, sexual assault is a crime and sexual harassment is a civil violation. A person convicted of sexual assault can face a prison sentence, substantial fine, or other serious consequences. For sexual harassment, if a plaintiff is able to prove their case they can be awarded damages. While juries are increasingly more inclined to believe victims, you still need an experienced personal injury attorney to plead your case in these matters.

Have You Experienced Sexual Harassment or Assault at Work?

At J&Y Law, we know that workplace sexual harassment and assault are unfortunately very common. No one deserves to be victimized in this way. At J&Y Law, our experienced personal injury lawyers handle these kinds of cases with a mix of compassion, professionalism, and aggressive courtroom representation. If you or a loved one has been a victim of workplace sexual assault or harassment, you have options—and we can help. Contact us today to learn more.


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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.