Fighting for Women's Equality

After Fondling and Harassment, Female Employees Resolve Case

October 1, 2013 | by
At Equal Rights Advocates, we prioritize the timely resolution of legal claims so that our clients can get back to work and on with their lives.

This past spring, we announced the filing of Brown v. Silver Center America, Inc. in Alameda County Superior Court. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached a confidential but mutually satisfactory settlement of that lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the owner of the company (one of the defendants in the case) displayed pornography and routinely made inappropriate sexual comments at work to the discomfort of his two female employees. The misconduct escalated when the defendant groped and fondled one of the plaintiffs, Brittani Brown, in his office, telling her that he had “always wanted” to do that. Soon after, the defendant fired the other plaintiff, Rebecca Combs, for opposing the conduct.

“It was hard to stand up and fight back, but it was the right thing to do,” says Brittani. “Having Bryan Schwartz Law and Equal Rights Advocates there to support us made a difference. We were pleased that we could resolve our claims within six months of filing suit.”

ERA and co-counsel filed suit under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, which prohibits sexual harassment of employees at any business with at least one employee. (Federal law isn’t as protective: Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, only businesses that employ 15 or more employees may be liable for sexual harassment.)

For more information on how ERA is protecting women from sexual assault and harassment at work, check out our marginalized women workers page.

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