Disney and CBS were sued by the California Department of Housing and Fair Employment on June 11th, 2020 over alleged sexual harassment on the sets of “Criminal Minds”. The lawsuit calls sexual harassment to be rampant on the sets and that it was condoned by management.

Men Sexually Harassed by Cinematographer

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit claims that Greg St. Johns, the show cinematographer, was in the habit of regularly touching men on their behinds and groins. He would also kiss their neck and shoulders. It’s amazing no one physically assaulted this man who is clearly not thinking properly or naturally.

The complaint besides targeting CBS and Disney names four executive producers Breen Frazier, Erica Messer, Harry Bring, and Glenn Kershaw. The lawsuit also names co-producer Stacy Beneville.

Management Encouraged Sexual Conduct

The lawsuit claims the management encouraged Greg St. Johns by mercilessly retaliating against anyone filing a sexual harassment complaint. However, St. Johns was finally dismissed after his predatory conduct was revealed in a 2018 report in Variety.

The complaint states that the executive team had constructive knowledge of the abusive conduct and that no steps were even taken to prevent discrimination and harassment of a sexual nature. Executives fired people who tacitly evaded or resisted the advances and abuse.

Lawsuit Filed After Thorough Investigation

The lawsuit was filed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing after launching an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations. The investigation was conducted after two former employees filed formal complaints with the agency, which is responsible for enforcing state civil rights law.

The Department is seeking monetary damages for employees of the production team that experienced sexual harassment in violation of the Ralph Civil Rights Act, Fair Employment and Housing Act, and Civil Code section 51.9.

DFEH Director Kevin Kish said that all residents of California have a legal right to make a living free from sexual harassment and predatory experiences.

Types of California Sexual Harassment

Individuals who witness sexual harassment or are the target of sex based harassment are protected by California law. People who support other victims are also protected by the law. However, it takes an experienced sexual harassment lawyer to explain rights and build a strong case.

Common types of sexual harassment in California include:

  • Verbal conduct of a sexual nature, like lewd remarks, comments concerning a person’s body or sexually explicit jokes
  • Visual conduct of a sexual nature, like displaying sexually provocative objects or pictures, making sexual gestures, or inappropriate staring
  • Physical conduct of a sexual nature, like impeding an employee’s ability to move or unwanted touching
  • Unwanted sexual advances or invitations

Sexual harassment attorneys can help victims understand potential claims and applicable laws.

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