Social media can be both a bane and a boon where sexual harassment lawsuits are concerned. Allegations that are intimate, painful, or sexual in nature attract the attention of the public even before the actual trials begin.  Sexual harassment attorneys say this kind of publicity has pros and cons.

In the case of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Zillow by a former saleswoman who said she received inappropriate messages from her male coworkers, the filing became viral, attracted online readership, but damaged the reputation of the company. Similarly, in another case, the papers of a sexual harassment lawsuit against Tinder were circulated in BuzzFeed post.

Reputation of Companies can be Damaged

Often, this can damage the reputations of companies, especially when the allegations are false, according to sexual harassment attorneys, where the defendants try to clear their names in panic.

The saleswoman from Zillow, Rachel Kremer, who alleged that her male coworkers ranked women in the company according to their breast size, said that she was not sure initially how much support she would get from people, but within a day of posting the complaint, there were a large number of responses on her Facebook feed. She also received support in LinkedIn from strangers who said that they had had similar experiences but regretted not having complained about them.

Although the online support can be valuable for victims of sexual harassment, it can be a great leveler for the defendants, according to sexual harassment attorneys. Cases which go viral can hamper legal proceedings.

A Manhattan attorney, Juan Monteverde got to know that his junior female colleague had filed a sexual harassment lawsuit after the complaint garnered online attention.

NKU Signs Agreement with Former Employee to Avoid Lawsuit

Chrissy Soards, a former athletic director for compliance at Northern Kentucky University or NKU, was paid $200,000 in return for her silence on the sexual harassment that she was subjected to. Scott Eaton, Soards’ boss, allegedly harassed her and behaved in an inappropriate manner, which she complained about to the school officials in March 2013. Eaton was fired soon after the complaint, and the agreement was signed with Soards, according to The Enquirer.

Eaton is currently serving a ten year sentence in the Campbell County Detention Center in Newport after pleading guilty to theft charges. He was convicted for embezzling $311,000 using a credit card issued by NKU, and the university also discovered later that he had had sexual relationships with four women in the campus that included a student.

Stealing Money from the Students

Soards and her sexual harassment attorney had made it clear to the NKU that they would go ahead with a sexual harassment lawsuit, according to the interview given to The Enquirer by Dennis Repenning, chairman of Board of Regents. Repenning also said that the officials had no idea about Eaton’s activities before receiving Soards’ complaint. The other woman may not have had anything to complain about but stealing money from the school is another strike against this so-called professional.

Why would you work that hard to obtain a decent job, a job in collegiate athletics, and then toss it all away?