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Yahoo embroiled in bitter sexual harassment case

As many people may be aware, there is a scathing sexual harassment case that surrounds Yahoo at the moment. One of their former engineers alleges that she was accosted by her boss who manipulated her into having sex. It is noted that the engineer was threatened with negative consequences and positive benefits depending on whether she had sex with her boss.

The boss, a senior director who still works for Yahoo, has filed a counter suit against the employee alleging the sexual harassment claim. That lawsuit claims defamation and "intentional infliction of emotional distress" on the part of the allegedly harassed employee.

What exactly happened between these two employees isn't exactly known yet, but these allegations involved are very serious. With that in mind, there are two important factors to take away from this story. The first is the notion of sexual favors in the workplace in exchange for benefits of some kind.

This form of sexual harassment is often called "quid pro quo" sexual harassment. It involves an employee performing sexual favors so that he or she may get a promotion, a raise, or some other benefit at work. These cases are common and very destructive not only to the company and the workforce in general, but also for the victimized employee.

The other aspect here is that when a supervisor is accused of committing sexual harassment, the victimized employee can seek justice not only from the harassing employee in question, but the company as well. The fact that an employee is deemed a "supervisor" triggers this possibility, though proving an employee's supervisory role is sometimes trickier than it may seem.

Source: Washington Post, "Accused Yahoo executive fires back over sexual harassment allegations," Jena McGregor, July 17, 2014

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