Santa Cruz, CA– Former Santa Cruz Mayor and her husband have been hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former employer at a bakery the couple owns.

The lawsuit names former Santa Cruz Mayor Emily Reilly and her husband, Robert Nahas, and accuses them of creating a hostile work environment for one of the former employees for Emily’s Bakery, the restaurant the couple owns together.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that the victim, a woman in her early 20s, accused Nahas of touching her inappropriately and soliciting her for sex. The young woman alleges that while she was managing the store Nahas often kept her from leaving unless she hugged him. He allegedly demanded hugs and kisses, licked her coffee cup and offered cash in exchange for physical contact. The victim also alleges Nahas repeatedly talked about his sex life and inquired about hers.

Conduct like this is common in sexual harassment cases and can have a negative impact on employees who are subjected to this abuse every day. Targets of sexual harassment typically feel embarrassed, humiliated and abused. Over time, the stress of repeated and pervasive sexual harassment can affect the victim’s physical health. No one has to put up with abuse in the workplace and can turn to a sexual harassment attorney near their California location.

The woman at the center of the case alleges that when she complained about Nahas’ harassment, she was relieved of her managerial duties out of retaliation, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Reilly isn’t accused of any wrongdoing in the lawsuit, but she is named in it because she owns the bakery. When asked for a comment Reilly told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that she couldn’t comment on the pending litigation to protect the privacy of their employees.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount in compensation for lost wages, wrongful termination, retaliation and damages for her health care costs.

Wise employers take immediate steps to stop sexual harassment in its tracks. Unchecked the behavior can escalate and make matters worse for everyone involved. Sadly, many employers don’t take action when they receive a complaint and are soon subjected to a civil suit. Employers ignore federal laws dictating that they end any harassment and discrimination that occurs in their workplace.

Federal law recognizes the many devastating effects sexual harassment can have so victims are entitled to seek compensation for the abuse they repeatedly dealt with. They are eligible for two types of compensation: compensatory damages for their emotional distress and financial losses and punitive damages. Victims of sexual harassment or discrimination can ensure they receive the compensation they deserve by retaining an employment law attorney. Their expertise and knowledge can help you secure maximum compensation for putting up with a hostile work environment. Allow USAttorneys to connect you with sexual harassment lawyer in your area and discuss the many ways they can help.