Portland, OR- A female co-worker has accused a Paul Linnman, a popular Portland radio and television host, of sexual harassment and filed a civil suit against Linnman and Clear Channel Broadcasting seeking $325,000 for emotional distress and medical costs.
The suit, filed last Friday, alleges that Linnman on one occasion grabbed and touched her buttocks, according to KGW-TV.
In another incident, the victim Kailee Kinney alleges that Linnman approached her and licked his lips while peering at her breasts. The suit alleges Linnman said, “I should apologize but that black dress…you look great in that black dress.”
Kinney’s suit states that the harassment caused her so much stress that she temporarily lost her vision, because suffers from Lupus an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of tissues and internal organs. Kinney’s attorney Ashley Bannon said her client lost $50,000 as a result of the harassment.
In a statement obtained by KGW-TV, Bannon said that her client came forward with the allegations once it became obvious that “Clear Channel seems to care a lot more about their pocketbooks than their employees.”
Kinney’s suit also alleges she was subjected to retaliation and her work record was scrutinized. KGW-TV reported that the women complained to management about the retaliation but her complaints were ignored.
“I think she would liked to have seen Clear Channel have taken much more serious action against him,” Bannon said, according to the Oregonian “And (if it had), I don’t think we would have been where we’re at as far as any type of litigation.”
Clear Channel Broadcasting said they allegations of sexual harassment seriously, but would not comment about pending litigation, the Oregonian reported.
Linnman denies the allegations and his lawyer said the facts of the case will come out in court.
In addition to the $50,000 in economic damages, Kinney is seeking $275,000 for pain and suffering.
Kinney has been an account executive for KEX 1190 for the past seven years. KGW-TV reported that Kinney filed a workplace discrimination suit against Emmis Television in 2003. That case was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Sexual harassment is a serious problem in the workplace and employers have a responsibility to take allegations seriously even if they don’t believe them to be true. When an employer fails to protect their employees from this inappropriate behavior, the victims have the right to retain a sexual harassment attorney and hold them accountable for their inaction.
Sexual harassment can have adverse effects on the victim’s mental and physical health and the victims can accumulate costly and unnecessary medical bills as a result. But it is not only the objects of the harassment that suffers; other employees also feel the impact of a hostile work environment.
Victims of sexual harassment who have taken the proper steps to stop the behavior to no avail should contact a sexual harassment lawyer. With legal assistance, a harassment victim can force their employer to appropriately discipline employees who harass others.