A case in New York City illustrates one reason why it is important to retain an experienced attorney to represent you if you have to file a lawsuit against an employer who has violated your rights. In this case, a former attorney named Alexandra Marchuk sued her former firm, Faruqi & Faruqi, for sexual harassment. Ms. Marchuk claims that a senior partner in the firm, Juan Monteverde, made unwanted sexual advances toward her and also once forcibly had sex with her in the firm’s offices. The firm, in response, sued Ms. Marchuk for defamation. In its lawsuit against Ms. Marchuk, Faruqi & Faruqi claims that she has made false accusations in her lawsuit that have damaged the firm’s reputation.
This is an example of an employer “playing hardball.” If Ms. Marchuk did not have competent counsel to represent her, she could not only lose her case but also be required to pay for damages that Faruqi & Faruqi incurred as a result of her lawsuit. It is unclear how Ms. Marchuk’s attorney will respond to Faruqi & Faruqi’s lawsuit against her but one option is to file another lawsuit against Faruqi & Faruqi for retaliation. It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against a current or former employee because she has complained of sexual harassment. Faruqi & Faruqi’s lawsuit could be a form of retaliation and, in fact, a retaliation claim in Ms. Marchuk’s case may be easier for her to win than her underlying sexual harassment case.
If your employer has violated your rights, don’t try to go it alone. Contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about your rights and your options.