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Male employee files sexual harassment lawsuit against fitness center

Sexual harassment can happen to any employee in any workplace. Although complaints regarding inappropriate behavior often come from women, men may also be subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace.

A lawsuit was recently filed by one California man who claims that his boss sexually harassed him and later retaliated against him for rejecting her advances. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court against 24 Hour Fitness USA Inc. According to the complaint, the man worked at the Sherman Oaks location for 24 Fitness where the incident occurred. The lawsuit is seeking compensation of more than $50,000 for emotional distress and mental anguish.

The man said that he was invited by his boss, the manager of the Sherman Oaks location, to go out for drinks and to go on a trip to Las Vegas with her. Over the summer, the man said that his boss also sent suggestive text messages to him. The male employee claims that he refused the advances from his boss and that he had also asked her to stop sending him text messages.

After the employee told his boss that her advances were unwanted, he claims that his boss retaliated against him. He believes that his ability to qualify for bonuses or promotions at 24 Fitness was affected as a result of the retaliation.

Employees who have been subjected to unwanted advances or inappropriate touching in the workplace may feel embarrassed or ashamed. Victims of harassment may fear that they could lose their jobs if they file a complaint or experience retaliation from their colleagues for bringing awareness to a serious problem. For this reason, many victims of sexual harassment choose to work with an attorney who will ensure that their rights as an employee are protected and that the complaint is handled in an appropriate manner between an employee and his or her employer.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "24 Hour Fitness faces sexual harassment lawsuit," Stuart Pfeifer, Oct. 18, 2011