“Women like me. Women love me, so if I really wanted to involve the women, I don’t have to assault the women,” said yoga guru, Bikram Choudhury as he gave an interview with CNN in April. Choudhury, 69, is a famous Indian yoga teacher and inventor of Bikram Yoga, a unique variation of traditional yoga in which participants use 26 poses while in an environment heated to 100 degrees or more.
As Choudhury continues to deny allegations from his students, they continue to come forward accusing him of sexual assault and even rape. So far since 2013, a total of 6 women have made complaints.
The most recent was heard on Monday by a Los Angeles jury who unanimously voted in favor of the victim. She was awarded $924,500 in compensatory damages.
On Tuesday the hearing begins; it could possibly award punitive damages to another student. The victim, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden relocated to the U.S. from India with her small daughter and began working for Choudhury in 2011. Two years later she filed a claim accusing the yoga instructor of inappropriate behavior; but after she began looking into more claims of sexual abuse by other women, he terminated her employment.
Lawyers representing Choudhury maintain their client’s innocence. They say the prosecutors failed to initiate criminal charges surrounding the women’s claims.
However, Bodden’s attorney was satisfied with the verdict saying “She stood up for what was right at great personal risk to herself and her daughter, both of whom were threatened by Bikram Choudhury with being deported and killed.”
The lawyer commented further by saying “The truth is finally out about an abusive tyrant who has engaged in despicable conduct towards women for a very long time. We think the jury’s verdict is a tremendous vindication of all of Ms. Bodden’s efforts to stop this abusive and harassing conduct not just towards herself but to numerous other women who have attempted to stand up to Bikram Choudhury.”
Have you or someone you know been the victim of workplace sexual harassment? If so, isn’t it time that you stood up for your rights and put an end to the harassment?
In order to take a stand, you must first recognize when sexual harassment is taking place. While the illegal act of sexual harassment may often occur between a supervisor and his or her employee, it does not always happen this way.
- An employee can be the victim of sexual harassment by a co-worker, a worker who is not employed by the victim’s employer or a client/customer that frequents the company.
- The victim may not be the only person who is being subjected to a hostile work environment. Employees who are within close range of the abuse; who can see and hear the harassment are being affected as well.
- While sexual harassment may often involve touching, it may also involve patting, groping, rubbing or another form of contact; however sexual harassment also consists of offensive comments, requests, words, pictures that contain nudity or are offensive and other gestures of a sexual nature.
- Harassment can occur between a man and a woman. It can also occur between two people of the same sex as well. Furthermore, the laws of sexual harassment are not confined to men who harass women. Sometimes it’s the other way around and other times it can be either women or both men.
It doesn’t matter where you work if you have been the victim of NY, NJ, PA workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, our team of sexual harassment lawyers strongly urge you to contact us for a free consultation.
The NY, NJ, PA sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handle a multitude of employment law cases for sexual harassment and discrimination in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. We also represent employee’s sexual harassment cases in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Miami Please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.
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