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2017: The Year in Sexual Assault, Harassment

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Harvey Weinstein might've dominated the headlines this year, but the sexual assault allegations against the disgraced Hollywood producer were just the tip of a very large iceberg. Revelations of sexual harassment came to light from coast-to-coast and from industry-to-industry.

Here are the major workplace sexual harassment and assault stories from 2017:

1. Uber's Response to Sexual Harassment Investigations

Few brands had a worse 2017 that ridesharing app Uber. And when you need to bring in a former U.S. Attorney General to investigate rampant sexual harassment and assault at your company, you know things are bad. The review revealed 215 HR reports and resulted in 20 firings, 31 assignments to counseling or training, seven written warnings, and a partridge in a pear tree.

2. Series of Lawsuits Claim Gurbaksh Chahal Is CEO From Hell

Although the most salacious accusations only made it to light this year, the allegations against Chahal span decades, including physical violence against female employees and a near-non-stop torrent of racial slurs against black employees. Not entirely surprising from a CEO who built his first business on a lie.

3. Chipotle Sued for Covering Up Bathroom Spying

While most of Chipotle's recent troubles have been confined to the kitchen, the chain was also accused of attempting to cover up multiple bathroom spying incidents, going so far as to direct a manager at the location to hang up the phone after she called police. And this was one of those instances where the crime is just as bad as the cover-up.

4. Company 'Loses' Lawsuit; Former Employee 'Wins' $1

Not all of the harassment cases involved big-name brands, not all of the victims were female, and not all of the allegations led to big-money verdicts or settlements. The jury in Jonathan Curry's lawsuit against Sanitary Garbage Company seemed to send a message to both litigants.

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