Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Million Dollar Verdict Returns - $1.13 Million for Sexual Harassment in N.H.


One normally associates Muzak with peace and quiet, more boring than excitement, but according to a former employee at least one manager had more exciting things in mind. Citing instances of sexually provocative remarks, inappropriate touching and sexual advances during a business trip, Kerry Bono, a $200,000 a year salesperson sued Muzak for sexual harassment and retaliation. Following a two week trial, the jury award of $1.13 million is a record for a New Hampshire sexual harassment verdict according to Bono's lawyer who is quoted in the story in the Union Leader.

This is the first million dollar verdict I have seen in awhile, although there is also a report this week end of a R1-million judgment for a sexual harassment case from South Africa. Although assuming my currency conversion is correct that is only $150,150 in US dollars, according to the report it is the first time that the highest court in South Africa has recognized such a claim. Whether it is rands or dollars, these are good reminders to employers what can happen inside a courtroom.

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