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University diving coach found to have committed sexual harassment

Although it might seem to be unusual, there are cases of a sexual harassment claim in California that are not “by the numbers” as one would see in a televised docudrama of a male superior harassing a female underling. Sexual harassment can involve a member of any sex or sexual orientation. Because of the stigma attached to being sexually harassed especially if it is the opposite of what is generally perceived as the common manner in which it is perpetrated, many might not even be aware that they have the right to seek compensation for a violation.

A case involving a university diving coach led to the coach being docked $455.30 rather than facing a suspension. The male coach was said to have been sexually harassing a male employee for a minimum of a year and a half. The coach oversees both the male and female diving teams at the school. According to the victim of harassment, there were numerous acts committed against him. These included touching, propositioning for sexual favors and making comments that were considered inappropriate. The employee was required to interact with the coach as part of his duties.

The coach asserted that the complaint was a retaliatory attempt on the part of the employee, but the school found that there was no reason for the employee to be fabricating the story. The employee said he complained about the situation “hundreds” of times and became worse when another employee who had tried to smooth the situation departed. The employee told the school what was happening in August 2015 and the investigation commenced. A witness provided corroboration of the behaviors on the part of the coach and this led to the docking of his pay.

Being at work and having to deal with sexual innuendo and other behaviors that can lead to a hostile working environment is a difficult situation to be in. When the employer does not take what can be considered preventative steps with intervention and punishment, it can be exceedingly frustrating. In many instances, the only method to achieve satisfaction is to move forward with a legal case. Speaking to an attorney who is experienced in cases involving harassment can help with filing litigation to be compensated.

Source: USA Today, “Cal diving coach fined $455.30 for sexual harassment,” Josh Peter, April 6, 2016


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