Last spring, the office of the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser was rocked by the sexual harassment claims of Carolyn Filippone. Although the case had been pending for nearly two years, it did not make front page news until Property Appraiser, Rob Turner, fired his paramour, Carolyn Filippone.
Turner made a huge mistake by firing her as her attorneys were contemplating whether to move forward with a lawsuit. Prior to the termination decision, Filippone’s claims were limited to sexual harassment. Thus, the question was whether she could advance a meritorious sexual harassment case against her boss although she had an affair with him. At this stage, this case had strengths and weaknesses for both parties. After the EEOC dismissed her case, Filippone had 3 months to decide whether to file a lawsuit. The decision became a lot easier when Turner fired Filippone before the expiration of the 90 days. Now Filippone was able to add a retaliation claim to her sexual harassment case. See Tampa Woman Considers Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Claims Against County Official; Retaliation Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court in Property Appraiser Case; Filippone complaint.
After a few short months, the Property Appraiser’s office decided that settlement was the prudent course of action. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the parties attended a mediation conference and settled for $135,000.
Sexual harassment occurs when one employee makes continued, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, to another employee, against his or her wishes. Retaliation occurs when an employer takes some form of adverse action against an employee for asserting his rights under harassment or discrimination law.
If you have questions about sexual harassment or retaliation, you may call Rich Bradford at (813) 413-2402.
Bradford & Bradford’s practice areas include, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Estate Planning, Civil Litigation, Employment Law, and Family Law.