New York, NY- Money is power and we all know power can go to peoples’ heads, often making them think they can get away with doing anything they want. Running a business or being an outstanding investor may give a person power, but that doesn’t mean they can get away with acting inappropriately with their subordinates.
Wall Street financier Benjamin Wey may be good at earning money in the Chinese market. But his financial savvy doesn’t mean he understands how to conduct himself in the New York Global Group office where he handles mergers. That fact became obvious this week after one of his former employees slapped him with a $75 million sexual harassment suit.
In her suit, Swedish beauty, Hanna Bouveng, characterized Wey as “virulent sexual harasser and stalker” who forced her to wear tight clothes in the office and pursued her for months, the New York Post reported. After having his sexual advances rebuffed, Wey fired Bouveng from her director of communications position this past April, and now she’s hitting back.
Bouveng alleges Wey, who is married, would buy her “tight skirts” and “low-cut shirts” for her to wear in the office. His was so persistent in his pursuit that Bouveng felt “trapped” into having sexual relations with him last December after he plied her with drinks, according to the Post.
This is what a sexual harassment attorney would refer to as quid pro quo sexual harassment. Quid pro Quo is a Latin term that means “this for that.” In sexual harassment terms, “quid pro quo” means forcing a subordinate employee into having sexual relations or tolerating sexual harassment in exchange for job security, pay raises, days off or other perks.
The Post tried to contact Wey about the allegations, but he had no comment. If a court finds Bouveng’s allegations to be true, Wey can find some consolation in the fact that his investing prowess likely means he can easily recoup some of the money he may be paying out to his former employee.
This pattern of sexual harassment plays out all the time in the workplace. Lovely young woman works for a powerful and wealthy man, He pursues her, sometimes “virulently,” and the woman may relent for a while and deal with the lewd comments, jokes and sexual pursuits. They may accept some of the pervy behavior because they need their job, but everyone has their breaking point.
In the workplace no one, male or female, has to tolerate sexual harassment or has to agree to sexual favors to keep their jobs. There are legal protections in place to prevent harassment and retaliation, and when it happens the law gives the victim a means to stop their abuse and pursue compensation for their lost wages and emotional distress.
Victims of sexual harassment often don’t know where to turn when they face repeated sexual harassment. They may report the harasser only to find their employer has done nothing to stop punish them or correct their behavior. This is when a person needs to call a sexual harassment attorney and discuss whether a civil suit is in order.