Unspoken Rides: Addressing the Pervasive Harassment and Discrimination in America’s Auto Dealerships

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a pervasive issue in auto dealerships throughout America.

The American auto dealership industry, boasting a backbone of shiny cars and robust sales pitches, hides an alarming and corrosive problem under its hood – sexual harassment. Despite being a cornerstone of America’s retail economy, auto dealerships have become notorious battlegrounds for gender respect and workplace equality.

In this probing examination, we will delve deep into the personal stories that shed light on the struggle many female employees face, survey the bleak statistics that run rampant across the industry, and provide concrete steps and resources for those affected by such improper conduct in their workplaces.

Personal Narratives of Harassment

Personal accounts bring the shocking reality of workplace harassment out of the shadows. In a Utah auto dealership, a former employee recounts days filled with anxiety and fear as her supervisor would casually assault female staff members, dealing out demeaning acts like smacks on the buttocks as casually as if he were giving out office memos.

The situation in Texas paints an equally grim picture, with managers at South Austin Nissan openly and relentlessly parading their predatory behavior. Women working there faced an ongoing onslaught of unwanted touching, lewd comments dissecting their appearance, and invasive inquiries into their private lives.

Moving west to San Francisco, the narrative continues with former employees, all women, who weathered unwelcome sexual advances, offensive remarks, and physical contact—all undermining not only their sense of security but their professional worth.

A Statistical Glimpse into the Workplace

Behind these personal stories lies a staggering trail of data:

  • According to the National Women’s Law Center, a harrowing 65% of women in dealership roles have dealt with sexual harassment at their job.
  • An EEOC study alerts us to over 60 official sexual harassment charges filed in the span of eight years, a period where the true scope of the issue likely exceeds recorded figures due to unreported incidents.
  • An Auto News survey tragically indicates that the immense majority—7 out of every 10 women in the dealership industry—experienced a form of sexual harassment.
  • From an occupational health psychology perspective, the non-physical damages are substantial too, resulting in a workplace rife with dissatisfaction, distress, and high turnover rates.

This data paints a sobering picture: the car sales floor, rather than being a place of negotiation and commerce, is often an arena of gender-based violation and abuse.

Stepping Stones to Change

These harrowing accounts and disheartening figures cannot fade into mere statistics. Change is imperative. To catalyze this transformation, advocacy must be a community affair – everyone is a stakeholder in making dealerships safe environments that uphold gender respect and equality. Here’s what can be done:

  • Workplace Policies – Dealerships must institute clear, robust, and non-negotiable policies against harassment, with transparent channels for reporting and addressing complaints.
  • Training Programs – Regular and compulsory training sessions can educate all employees on what constitutes sexual harassment and how to prevent it.
  • Peer Support – Fostering a culture where colleagues support one another and victims don’t feel isolated or helpless.

Legal Recourse and Support Systems

Empower yourself with knowledge and support:

  • EEOC Guidance – Connect with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for advice and action against employment discrimination.
  • Legal ExpertiseA specialized workplace discrimination or harassment attorney can offer legal counsel and potentially represent your case.
  • Law Enforcement – If you’ve been physically harassed or assaulted, contact the local police.
  • Support from Nonprofits – Organizations like the National Women’s Law Center offer legal resources to women facing discrimination and harassment.
  • Community Networks – Join support groups where shared experiences and solidarity can foster recovery and collective action.

Conclusion: Toward a Respectful Workspace

Making our workplaces safe sanctuaries of productivity and respect demands courage, persistence, and unity. If you or someone you know is enduring sexual harassment within an auto dealership or any workplace, remember that silence benefits only the perpetrators. It’s time to revamp the industry not just from a business standpoint but from a foundational perspective that respects and values all employees equally.

Make Dealerships Safe: Advocate for Gender Respect and Equality

Now is the time for action, for support, and for change. Stand up for a harassment-free workplace, and navigate the road ahead with the dignity and equality every person deserves.

Over $3 Million Award in Racial Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation Lawsuit

Sexual harassment, race discrimination and retaliation lawyers of Helmer Friedman LLP.

A Georgia woman has won more than a $3 million judgment in a racial discrimination, sexual and race harassment, and retaliation lawsuit Marshall v. Tidal Wave Response, LLC and its owner, John Myers.

According to Channel 2 Action News and the law firm Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, Tiphony Marshall won the largest single-plaintiff verdict in the Northern District of Georgia’s history.

“The case involved evidence of virulent racial and sexual harassment of Ms. Marshall,” said the law firm in a press release. “Culminating in a violent incident that caused her to flee from the workplace.”

Marshall was an office manager for the water damage restoration company in the Atlanta suburb of Chamblee, Georgia, and claimed she was subjected to “abusive and misogynistic” treatment by her employer, including being forced to change his baby’s diapers, enduring comments about his penis and racial intimidation.

Marshall began working for the company in February of 2018 but resigned on Aug. 6, 2021, after being subjected to Myers’ harassment on “a near-daily basis,” which ended after a confrontation where he threw hot coffee at Marshall.

Myers forced her to watch his infant and change the child’s diapers, calling it a “task suited for a woman.” He also forced her to do the job of a terminated project manager, commented on his penis size, and mocked his interpretation of Black vernacular.

Myers forced her to watch his infant and change the child’s diapers, calling it a “task suited for a woman.”

“The case involved evidence of virulent racial and sexual harassment of Ms. Marshall,” said the law firm in a press release. “Culminating in a violent incident that caused her to flee from the workplace.”

Other reported harassment included Myers repeatedly questioning Marshall about her sex life and implying she was sleeping with a co-worker. Myers also asked Marshall if she thought a potential employee was “hot” and asked about her breast size. The complaint noted Myers’ making “sexually charged noises” and saying he was “sexually aroused” as well.

The court heard that Myers would also suggest that Marshall “get with” the men he interviewed, and he would often comment on her physical appearance and whether she was wearing form-fitting clothing.

The Tidal Wave owner also falsely told a room full of employees that Marshall had been raped and tried to pay her commissions with $100 bills that he’d rubbed on his crotch area. Myers also made comments about the size of his penis and would yell for Marshall from the bathroom to “come and help [ ] hold it” while he urinated.

The lawsuit also alleges Myers told Marshall and a group of Black and Hispanic employees that he was “better than” them. He also said they would never “get anything better” than their current jobs with Tidal.

The lawsuit also contends that he mocked his idea of Black vernacular, once saying to Marshall, “Do I call you Black? Do I call you African American? Do I say ‘yo, what’s up?’” Myers also “would skirt around the use of derogatory racial slurs” but stopped just before using the slurs. He also allegedly punched holes in his office walls and threatened violence against employees.

The lawsuit states that Marshall confronted her boss about the extra duties on Aug. 4, two days before she left her position with the company. The complaint says that Myers “became irate, shouted profanities, and threw a cup of hot coffee near her,” causing Marshall to “fear for her safety” and flee the office.

The jury deliberated for four hours before awarding Marshall back pay of $50,113.82. She was also awarded compensatory and punitive damages for race discrimination, racial harassment, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation, with the total awarded being $3,470,393.82.

After the verdict, Marshall’s attorney Ed Buckley said Myers and his lawyers fled the courtroom before the proceedings had ended.

“This is the first time I’ve had the defendant and their lawyers flee the courtroom during a trial,” Buckley said in a statement. “The admissions and evidence were presumably so overwhelming that they did not want to face the jury.”

Read more by Niko Mann.

Walmart Pays $87,500 to Settle Unlawful Retaliation Lawsuit

Walmart settles Retaliation Lawsuit.

Two Adult Children Were Unlawfully Rejected for Jobs Because of Mother’s Prior Sex Discrimination Complaint

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores East, Inc., L.P. (doing business as Walmart stores in Albuquerque) for retaliation. The lawsuit claimed that Walmart Store #835 on Eubank in Northeast Albuquerque refused to hire Ramona Bradford’s adult son and daughter for entry-level positions because Ms. Bradford had filed a sex discrimination charge against Wal-Mart with the EEOC.

Retaliation against employees because of their opposition to discrimination or participation in protected activity, such as filing a discrimination charge, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC also alleged that Ramona Bradford was a victim of retaliation because her two adult children were being denied employment because she was complaining about discrimination and her charge filing.

The consent decree settling the suit provides for monetary relief for the Bradfords, as well as an injunction prohibiting retaliatory practices, training for managerial employees on retaliation, and posting a notice advising employees of their rights under Title VII.

Retaliation continues to be a high priority for the EEOC, which receives more retaliation charges than any other kind of discrimination charges. The EEOC is pleased that this case could be resolved for the Bradfords and mandates that Wal-Mart train its managers about retaliation.

Eliminating policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes or that impede the EEOC’s investigative or enforcement efforts is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

Sexual Harassment and Retaliation of Tenants

Sexual harassment retaliation by landlord.

Dad, Son Refused to Fix Tenant’s Gas Leak After She Reported Sexual Harassment

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Javier Salazar Jr., Javier Salazar Sr., and Ricardo Covarrubias, a maintenance worker, the manager, and the owner, respectively, of rental properties in Bakersfield, California, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Preying on renters who have few housing options is abhorrent and illegal.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, alleges that Javier Salazar, Jr., a maintenance worker, sexually harassed a female tenant from December 2018 through March 2019 by repeatedly asking the tenant to engage in sexual acts with him, asking her to be in a relationship with him, describing the sexual acts he wished to engage in with her and persistently commenting on her appearance.

The Justice Department is committed to holding accountable any person in the housing sector who sexually harasses, assaults or retaliates against tenants, from the housing owner to the maintenance worker. A home should be a place of refuge and sanctity, not sexual assault and exploitation, and we will continue to use the Fair Housing Act to hold violators accountable.

According to the complaint, on two occasions, Javier Salazar Jr. touched the tenant’s body without her consent. He secretly took digital photographs of framed print pictures in her home of her and her daughter. The tenant reported Salazar Jr.’s conduct to Salazar Sr., who was both the property manager and Salazar Jr.’s father. After she reported the harassment and threatened to contact a lawyer or the police if it continued, the Salazars refused to fix a leaking gas line in her dwelling, causing her to go without heat for one month and consequently forcing her to move out. The complaint also alleges that the property owner, Covarrubias, is vicariously liable for the Salazars’ conduct because they were his agents when they engaged in sexual harassment and retaliation.

“Sexual harassment in rental housing preys on tenants who are especially vulnerable, including those who rely on their housing provider for critical maintenance services,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to holding accountable any person in the housing sector who sexually harasses, assaults or retaliates against tenants, from the housing owner to the maintenance worker. A home should be a place of refuge and sanctity, not sexual assault and exploitation, and we will continue to use the Fair Housing Act to hold violators accountable.”

“For four months this tenant refused the repeated sexual advances by the maintenance worker at her rental home, and when she reported the sexual harassment, she faced retaliation,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert for the Eastern District of California. “The actions of Salazar Jr. and the failure or refusal of Salazar Sr. and Covarrubias to act on the tenant’s behalf caused her harm and distress. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will hold accountable any landlord who enables or engages in sexual harassment in violation of the Fair Housing Act.”

“Preying on renters who have few housing options is abhorrent and illegal,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Demetria McCain of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “HUD will continue to work with DOJ to enforce the law and protect tenants.”

The lawsuit arose from a complaint the former tenant filed with HUD. After HUD investigated the complaint, it issued a charge of discrimination, and the matter was referred to the Justice Department. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages to compensate the victim and a court order barring future discrimination.

The Justice Department’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative is part of the Civil Rights Division in coordination with U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide. The initiative aims to address and raise awareness about sexual harassment by landlords, property managers, maintenance workers, loan officers, or other people who have control over housing. Since launching the Initiative in October 2017, the Justice Department has filed 34 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment in housing.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division enforces the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.

Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of sexual harassment by Javier Salazar Jr., or at rental dwellings owned or managed by Ricardo Covarrubias or Javier Salazar Sr., or who have other information that may be relevant to this case should call the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, email the Justice Department at
fairhousing@usdoj.gov, or submit a report online.

Edison Sued for Sexual and Racial Harassment

Edison sued for racial harassment and sexual harassment.

Jury Awarded $440 Million in Harassment Lawsuit Against Edison

A Los Angeles jury awarded $ 440 million in punitive damages to two men who alleged they were forced out of their jobs at Southern California Edison after complaining about repeated sexual and racial harassment at a South Bay office.

That decision came after jurors awarded $ 24.6 million in compensatory damages to plaintiffs Alfredo Martinez and Justin Page on Wednesday, bringing the total to more than $ 464.6 million.

These two men had the courage to stand up and report the harassment.

Martinez said he witnessed sexual and racial harassment and abuse during the 16 years he worked at Edison. His lawsuit states one such complaint: Two female workers approached him in March 2017 to complain of sexual harassment. They told Martinez because he was “just about the only supervisor” who could be trusted and had not participated in the harassment.

Martinez alleged that after 16 years at Edison, he had been pushed out of his supervisor job in April 2017 by constructive termination — a claim accusing the employer of creating or permitting intolerable working conditions in order to force out a worker — after reporting widespread sexual harassment and racist language.

SCE’s and Edison’s response was to pretend the problem was limited to a handful of bad actors, ignoring the culture of tolerance for harassment and discrimination that was bred in the South Bay office.

During the eight-week trial, lawyers for Martinez and Page presented evidence they said showed Edison’s South Bay office had a fraternity-like culture in which racial and sexual harassment was widespread, common, and sometimes ignored.

“These two men had the courage to stand up and report the harassment,” one attorney said. “SCE’s and Edison’s response was to pretend the problem was limited to a handful of bad actors, ignoring the culture of tolerance for harassment and discrimination that was bred in the South Bay office.”

Edison’s management did not take the harassment seriously.
The jury award was unusual in that the $ 440 million in punitive damages exceeded by $ 140 million, the amount that their attorney suggested to the jury. The jury awarded punitive damages of $ 400 million to Martinez — $ 100 million from Southern California Edison and $ 300 million from parent company Edison International. The jury awarded Page $ 40 million in punitive damages — $ 10 million from SCE and $ 30 million from Edison International.

The $ 22.37 million in compensatory damages for Martinez is believed to be among the largest in California history for a Fair Employment and Housing Act case.

Edison officials said they would seek a new trial to overturn the verdict.
“The jury’s decision is not consistent with the facts and the law and does not reflect who we are or what we stand for, and we intend to challenge it and seek a new trial,” an SCE spokeswoman said.

In a trial brief, Edison’s legal team argued that the two men had attempted to exploit the “plight of their former female coworkers to create liability where none exists. ” Edison acknowledged in court papers that Martinez and Page reported supervisors ” at the location where they worked were engaging in sexually inappropriate conduct toward female employees. ”

But Edison’s lawyers alleged that Martinez ” violated multiple SCE policies when he falsified the time records of an employee who reported to him. ” In the trial brief, they noted that Page, while reporting the harassment of female colleagues, did not say he was also a victim until later.

Martinez’s lawyers allege that within about 30 days of his reporting the harassment, six retaliatory complaints came in against him. They allege that Edison conducted a sham investigation and used the complaints to push him out of his job.

In court filings, Page alleged that he was threatened with retaliation after he anonymously reported the harassment. Page, who began working for Edison in 2015, transferred out of South Bay to a Fullerton office, but the threats followed him to that location, and he took a leave of absence from which he has yet to return, according to court filings.

$20,000 Sexual Harassment / Retaliation Case Settlement with Bojangles Restaurants, Inc

Sexual harassment causes long term damage to the victims psyche.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Settles Federal Charges Female Employee Was Sexually Harassed, Then Transferred and Denied Promotional Opportunity Because She Complained

Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc., a Delaware corporation operating in Greensboro, North Carolina, has been ordered to pay $20,000.00 and provide other relief as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to resolve a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit.

The EEOC’s lawsuit alleges that a female team member at a Bojangles fast food restaurant in Greensboro was subjected to severe sexual harassment from March 2020 to June 2020 by the restaurant’s general manager, who made numerous sexual remarks and inappropriately touched and grabbed her. The employee was then denied the opportunity to participate in a management training program and was transferred to a different location as retaliation after complaining about the general manager’s conduct.

This type of alleged behavior is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace and prohibits retaliation against employees who oppose sexual harassment.


Employees have a right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers cannot tolerate such conduct or allow managers to retaliate against employees for reporting the harassment.

The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc., Civil Action No.: 1:22-cv-00739) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

As part of the two-year consent decree, which applies to specific restaurants, Bojangles is required to pay $20,000.00 in damages to the affected employee, train managers and employees on sexual harassment, refrain from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, including in the administration of management training programs, and refrain from retaliating against employees who complain of sexual harassment.

Bojangles has also agreed not to rehire the offending manager. “Employees have a right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace,” said Melinda C. Dugas, regional attorney for the Charlotte District. “Employers cannot tolerate such conduct or allow managers to retaliate against employees for reporting the harassment.”

Gender Discrimination and Harassment Lawsuit Against CSC

April 18, 2012 : Today, a former employee of Computer Sciences Corporation (“CSC”) filed a gender discrimination and harassment lawsuit against CSC. The Complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court (Case No. BC482993), alleges that CSC, a multi-billion dollar company which provides information technology and business services to companies throughout the world, routinely paid women less than men and denied them higher-paying and more prestigious positions. According to the Complaint, CSC has a practice of retaliating against women who complain by demoting or removing them from their positions, withholding their pay, and/or firing them.

The plaintiff, Anne Roeser, was a high level executive at CSC, who, according to the Complaint, was subjected to pervasive gender discrimination and harassment by some of the Company’s Indian male executives who did not want to work with women and who openly stated that women should stay at home, take care of their husbands and raise their children. These Indian male executives, the Complaint alleges, were openly hostile to women, they made sexist and derogatory remarks about women (calling them “girl,” “blonde,” and “white woman”), they demeaned the jobs held by women (saying, for example, that one high-level female executive’s job was merely to take clients out to lunch and go shopping with them), they refused to communicate with women about substantive work-related issues, and they behaved toward women in an aggressive, condescending and intimidating manner.

According to the Complaint, when Ms. Roeser complained about the gender discrimination and harassment and the illegal conduct in which some of these executives were involved, she was demoted, denied earned wages, otherwise retaliated against, and told to stop complaining. When she continued to complain, she was fired. The Complaint alleges that among other illegal conduct, Ms. Roeser complained that the Company’s off-shore Indian employees engaged in over 6,000 instances of illegally accessing the private health and financial information of the patients of one of the Company’s largest health care clients in violation of HIPAA, the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, and the privacy rights of these patients.
Commenting about these allegations, Ms. Roeser’s attorney, Andrew H. Friedman of Helmer * Friedman, LLP, said, “Unfortunately, the glass ceiling really does exist at many companies. Hopefully, lawsuits like this one will shatter that ceiling and enable women to reach the same levels in corporate America occupied by men.”

Girls for Gender Equality

In New York City, Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) has been advocating for increased school safety – a decade-long campaign led by parents, teachers, and female and LGBTQ students. And if there is one thing the teen women of color organizers at Girls for Gender Equity want you to know, it is that Title IX of the Education Amendment does not only apply to college sports – the area most associated with Title IX enforcement.
“It is hard to envision a school without sexual harassment. However, if one existed, I imagine it would be a place where kids can excel as students instead of having to worry about what is going to be said or done to them the next time they go in the hallway,” says former GGE youth organizer Kai Walker.
In April 2010 and April 2011 the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the US Department of Education released two “Dear Colleague” letters to “provide guidance” and “examples of remedies and enforcement strategies” for reported sexual harassment infractions in public schools. While this public acknowledgement from the Obama Administration is a step in the right direction, the tactic ultimately lacks teeth. The letters simply restate what the law already requires. It politely requests officials to increase their efforts at enforcement, but does not take steps to ensure mandatory application of the federal law. For all practical purposes, the “Dear Colleague” letters do not go beyond lip service.

• Girls for Gender Equity organizers celebrating the launch of Hey, Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets. Photograph courtesy of the author. •
As a result, grassroots organizations like GGE rely on the strength of the members of their own communities to hold schools accountable for failing to keep students safe. Nearly forty years after Title IX’s passage, GGE’s youth-led research project on sexual harassment in the New York City public schools found that nearly 1 in 4 students are sexually harassed in school every single day – with behaviors that range from verbal (71 percent) to physical (63 percent) to criminal sexual assault (10 percent).
College student Kayla Andrews was a part of the research team. She says, “If given the golden opportunity to converse with President Obama regarding Title IX in public schools, I would first and foremost introduce him to a day in the life of students. I would tell him stories of how girls walk briskly to class out of fear of being harassed and boys who feel uncomfortable being their true selves because they fear ridicule and abuse.”
In Hey, Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets, GGE Community Organizer Nefertiti Martin recalls what it was like for her to be called homophobic slurs at school: “Before I even knew what gay was, somebody managed to find something to say about my limp wrists and effeminate lisp. Teachers and faculty tell me some lines about how sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. But words have always hurt me.”
Chiamaka Agbasionwe agrees and shares about a classmate who “made me feel disgusted with myself. He made me second-guess what I wore that day, how my hair looked, and just me as a woman. His ‘compliments’ were insults knowing the disrespectful connotations behind them. His looks were knives through my self-esteem.”
Kayla wants President Obama to know about the lack of support for students who are sexually harassed at school. “I would make the President aware of just how difficult it is to find someone within the school who actually knows what Title IX is, much less follows the procedures for recording sexual harassment offenses,” she says.
GGE found that a mere 3 percent of students made a report after being sexually harassed, and 22 percent say they were further traumatized by school staff after making the report. Over half say they did not know how students who sexually harassed others were dealt with at their school because there was no follow-up with them by school authorities. And less than 2 percent feel the perpetrator was dealt with appropriately.
“Enforcing Title IX alone cannot end sexual harassment, but it can mitigate it,” says GGE youth organizer Nkeya Peters. “The way it can be alleviated in public schools is by raising awareness and hiring social service workers to properly address the issue and its consequences.”
With Hey, Shorty!, Girls for Gender Equity seeks to broaden people’s understanding of Title IX and shine a light on the ineffectual nature of an unenforced federal law. As the group moves forward with its community-based work, Hey, Shorty! offers youth and adult allies nationwide an accessible guide to implement in their own schools and cities to combat unwanted sexual attention and LGBTQ bullying. The model they use shows that young women who are given adequate support can successfully mobilize to demand accountability in their schools. It demonstrates that safety does not have to be an impediment to an education.
“It takes living in the shoes of a sexually harassed student to know just how detrimental harassment can be to one’s education,” says Kayla. “If President Obama wants to address the issues in this country regarding education, he needs to start at the root of the problem, which includes the reasons why students avoid going to school in the first place.”

• A Public Service Announcement on Title IX created by Girls for Gender Equity and the Coalition for Gender Equity in Schools. •

About the Author:
Mandy Van Deven is the co-author of Hey, Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets, a book about Girls for Gender Equity’s nine years developing an effective organizing strategy to end gender-based violence in New York City’s public schools. Her writing can be found at www.mandyvandeven.com.

PATIENTS ALLEGE SANTA MONICA AREA PHYSICIAN ENGAGED IN INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT DURING BREAST EXAMS

PATIENTS ALLEGE SANTA MONICA AREA PHYSICIAN ENGAGED IN INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT DURING BREAST EXAMS

Two Former Patients of Dr. Lawrence H. Resnick Allege that Their HMO referred them to Dr. Resnick Despite Knowing of Alleged Propensity                                                 
June 8, 2011:  Today, two former patients of Dr. Lawrence H. Resnick filed a lawsuit against the Santa Monica-based physician and his clinic, the Woman’s Breast Center, alleging that he engaged in inappropriate, unprofessional and offensive conduct during breast examinations.  The patients, Angela Crickman and Lisa Grebe, also asserted claims against their HMO, Bay Area Community Medical Group (“Bay Area”), alleging that Bay Area referred them to Dr. Resnick despite knowing that he had a pattern, practice and/or history of engaging in such conduct.  Among other things, they allege that Bay Area had received complaints from other female patients and that Bay Area knew, or should have known, that Dr. Resnick had been sanctioned by the Medical Board of the State of California for engaging in unprofessional conduct during a breast examination.  See http://www.medbd.ca.gov/publications/hotsheet_2008_01.pdf   http://www.medbd.ca.gov/publications/hotsheet_2008_01.pdf).Ms. Crickman (but not Ms. Grebe) has also asserted a claim against her primary health care provider, Peak Medical Group, Inc. (“Peak Health”), for allegedly referring her to Dr. Resnick despite knowing of his propensity to engage in inappropriate conduct during breast examinations.  Bay Area has since been acquired by UCLA Health Systems.

In the Complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court (Case No. BC463109), Ms. Crickman alleges, among other things, that Dr. Resnick was flirtatious and suggestive, and made numerous inappropriate comments about her physical appearance, while he conducted an ultrasound examination of her breasts.  Ms. Grebe similarly alleges that Dr. Resnick engaged in sexually offensive, flirtations and suggestive conduct toward her while performing an examination.  She also alleges that he kissed her on the cheek.

In their Complaint, Ms. Crickman and Ms. Grebe assert claims for sexual harassment by a physician in violation of California Civil Code Sections 51.9 and 52, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.  They have also asserted claims (by Ms. Crickman against Bay Area and Peak Health; by Ms. Grebe against Bay Area) that defendants violated the California Unruh Act, alleging that the defendants failed to provide or apply the same level of scrutiny to physicians to whom they referred their female patients as they did to those to whom they referred their male patients.

Commenting about these allegations, plaintiffs’ attorney, Gregory D. Helmer of Helmer • Friedman, LLP, said, “In the fight against breast cancer, it is well known that early detection and diagnosis is critically important.  While these are allegations at this point, it is obviously critical  that there be nothing – including the conduct of a physician – that might discourage patients from seeking  diagnostic examinations.”

For additional information or a PDF copy of the Complaint, contact:
            Gregory D. Helmer (ghelmer@helmerfriedman.com)
            Andrew H. Friedman (afriedman@helmerfriedman.com)
            Kenneth A. Helmer (khelmer@helmerfriedman.com) 
            Helmer • Friedman, LLP, (310) 396-7714                                         
            (www.helmerfriedman.com)

Copyright © 2011 Helmer Friedman, LLC. All rights reserved. Publication rights granted so long as article and byline are reprinted intact, with all links made live.

PATIENTS ALLEGE SANTA MONICA AREA PHYSICIAN ENGAGED IN INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT DURING BREAST EXAMS

Two Former Patients of Dr. Lawrence H. Resnick Allege that Their HMO referred them to Dr. Resnick Despite Knowing of Alleged Propensity                                                 
June 8, 2011:  Today, two former patients of Dr. Lawrence H. Resnick filed a lawsuit against the Santa Monica-based physician and his clinic, the Woman’s Breast Center, alleging that he engaged in inappropriate, unprofessional and offensive conduct during breast examinations.  The patients, Angela Crickman and Lisa Grebe, also asserted claims against their HMO, Bay Area Community Medical Group (“Bay Area”), alleging that Bay Area referred them to Dr. Resnick despite knowing that he had a pattern, practice and/or history of engaging in such conduct.  Among other things, they allege that Bay Area had received complaints from other female patients and that Bay Area knew, or should have known, that Dr. Resnick had been sanctioned by the Medical Board of the State of California for engaging in unprofessional conduct during a breast examination.  See http://www.medbd.ca.gov/publications/hotsheet_2008_01.pdf   http://www.medbd.ca.gov/publications/hotsheet_2008_01.pdf).Ms. Crickman (but not Ms. Grebe) has also asserted a claim against her primary health care provider, Peak Medical Group, Inc. (“Peak Health”), for allegedly referring her to Dr. Resnick despite knowing of his propensity to engage in inappropriate conduct during breast examinations.  Bay Area has since been acquired by UCLA Health Systems.

In the Complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court (Case No. BC463109), Ms. Crickman alleges, among other things, that Dr. Resnick was flirtatious and suggestive, and made numerous inappropriate comments about her physical appearance, while he conducted an ultrasound examination of her breasts.  Ms. Grebe similarly alleges that Dr. Resnick engaged in sexually offensive, flirtations and suggestive conduct toward her while performing an examination.  She also alleges that he kissed her on the cheek.

In their Complaint, Ms. Crickman and Ms. Grebe assert claims for sexual harassment by a physician in violation of California Civil Code Sections 51.9 and 52, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.  They have also asserted claims (by Ms. Crickman against Bay Area and Peak Health; by Ms. Grebe against Bay Area) that defendants violated the California Unruh Act, alleging that the defendants failed to provide or apply the same level of scrutiny to physicians to whom they referred their female patients as they did to those to whom they referred their male patients.

Commenting about these allegations, plaintiffs’ attorney, Gregory D. Helmer of Helmer • Friedman, LLP, said, “In the fight against breast cancer, it is well known that early detection and diagnosis is critically important.  While these are allegations at this point, it is obviously critical  that there be nothing – including the conduct of a physician – that might discourage patients from seeking diagnostic examinations.”

For additional information or a PDF copy of the Complaint, contact:
            Gregory D. Helmer (ghelmer@helmerfriedman.com)
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