When an employer is guilty of wrongdoing against an employee it may be necessary for the worker to take legal action to protect his or her rights under employment laws. Many times this will require significant litigation in court in Florida or in any other state. However, three former employees of venture capital firm CMEA seem to have avoided the need for going to court in their sexual harassment case.
The three former employees of CMEA Capital had filed a lawsuit against the firm in March 2013. However, the parties in the lawsuit have agreed to settle the lawsuit out of court. This means that the defendant company has agreed to some amount of monetary reimbursement to three former employees. Apparently, the defendant company had failed to compel arbitration last year when the lawsuit was first filed.
Along with allegations of sexual harassment the charges also included racial harassment and retaliation. The company's former chief operating partner was also personally named as a defendant in the lawsuit and was reportedly being accused of incredibly egregious offenses. The terms of the settlement have yet to be disclosed to the public, since the terms are still pending approval from the judge.
Although the case was settled out of court in this racial and sexual harassment case, it is still important to understand the applicable laws during the negotiation phase in any lawsuit in Florida or any other state. This will help workers be more persuasive in their arguments for why the defendant employer should agree to a larger settlement sum. On the other hand, if a settlement cannot be reached the plaintiffs will have to prepare their legal arguments to be presented in court.
Source: Fortune, "Silicon Valley VC firm settles sexual harassment suit", Dan Primack, Sept. 23, 2014