The Importance of the Right Kind of Legal Counsel in a Sexual Harassment Case

A recent court ruling takes legal counsel to task for an unwitting approach to a sexual harassment case in New York.

Attorneys are officers of the court paid to zealously represent client interests. In the matter of Thomas v David Shavolian et al., Sharina Thomas alleges the following:

  • At an initial meeting, Mr. Shavolian asked Ms. Thomas to bare her breasts as a pretext for modeling work Ms. Thomas sought for her children. Mr. Shavolian fondled and squeezed her breasts.
  • Mr. Shavolian later contacted Ms. Thomas with the offer of a position as a receptionist. Mr. Shavolian then advanced Ms. Thomas to a managerial position that required her to be with him at all times.
  • During her work time, Ms. Thomas was required to accompany Mr. Shavolian to the urinal and stand beside him. He requested she examine an anal rash, propositioned her for oral sex and took her to an empty room on different occasions and undressed in front of her. He called her into his office, fully exposing himself and asked her to rub lotion on his penis. She refused.
  • Mr. Shavolian offered Ms. Thomas extra pay to have sex with him. When she refused, she was fired.

Legal counsel for Mr. Shavolian moved to dismiss the case for failure to state a cause of action. In reply, the court stated:

“This court is aghast that any attorney would, with a straight face, claim that the conduct alleged (which, solely for purposes of this motion, is deemed to be true) does not fit squarely within the City and State anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws. Talk about a hostile work environment!…Defendant Shavolian seems to have hired plaintiff principally so that he could sexually harass her…”

When you have concerns about sexual or other harassment in the workplace, speak with experienced legal counsel bound to uphold your rights and the laws of the land. Contact Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC in New York City.

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