After a former employee filed a suit for sexual harassment against the CEO of New York Global Group, a federal court decided that Benjamin Wey must pay $18 million to the 25-year-old woman who made the complaint. The Wall Street executive was accused of defamation and retaliation in addition to sexual harassment, and the court ordered that he pay $16 million in punitive damages and $2 million in compensatory damages.
Hired in October 2013, the woman reported that Wey pursued her and coerced her into having sexual relations. Wey helped the woman pay for her Tribeca apartment where rent was $3,600 a month, and he fired the woman when he saw another man there. The woman is a Swedish native whose attorney detailed how Wey followed her to her new job at a cafe in Stockholm, Sweden, and Wey also called her derogatory names on his blog to ruin her reputation.
In his defense, Wey alleged that the plaintiff had a party-going lifestyle that led to her termination and said the two never slept together. He said that the woman knew nothing about finance and that he tried to mentor her. The woman spoke about how she had trouble finding a job and maintaining connections after what the CEO had said about her.
Unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace can understandably frighten and confuse those employees who find themselves the recipient of attraction from a superior. Different situations can occur as a hostile work environment can be created even when the pursuer is not one's boss. Those who find themselves in this position might wish to consult with an employment law attorney to see if there is any recourse that may be available.