More and more we are seeing sexual assaults that have implications for employers. As the former lawyer for Naffi Diallo in the Dominique Strauss Kahn sexual assault case and now the young lady who was raped in Delhi, India by the Uber driver, we have been privileged to represent victims in some of the most high profile sexual assaults of all time. Having said that, most of the sexual assault (and sexual harassment for that matter) victims that we have represented are (and will remain) confidential and have resulted in financial settlements that attempt to compensate our clients for the physical and psychological trauma that they continue to suffer.
Many of our clients were victims of sexual assault at the hands of a work colleague, boss, or perspective employer. Often times, these sexual assaults take place outside the four corners of the workplace such as a hotel or bar – but that doesn’t change the potential exposure for the employer – both financially and in terms of negative press. My hope is that Ms. Diallo and the victim in the Uber case will give other women the courage to speak out and seek counsel when they have been violated. There is a place to turn – no matter how powerful or large the company may be. After all, Mr. Strauss Kahn could have been the next President of France. And, Uber is a multi-billion dollar company.
Regardless of whether your employer, colleague or anyone else for that matter sexually assaults you, there are civil laws designed to protect and compensate you. The District Attorney can prosecute the offender and seek a prison sentence – but the burdens of proof are very different and the District Attorney represents the People of the State – they do not necessarily represent you and your interests. Your interests may be different than those the District Attorney represents, and the District Attorney is typically not interested in seeking monetary damages to compensate you for what you have gone through.
Sexual assaults occur daily – and often times the victim remains silent. It is important not to waste time as important evidence could be destroyed. It is important to report criminal conduct to the police, but it is also important to speak to a lawyer who can represent you and inform you of your rights. A call to our firm is handled in the strictest confidence. We will not reveal your identity unless you instruct us to do so and when you have no other place to turn, a well-qualified lawyer who has experience handling civil cases involving sexual assaults is imperative.
|Douglas H. Wigdor
85 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003
T: (212) 257-6800 | F: (212) 257-6845