Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

New Litigation Protections for Sexual Harassment Victims

Posted Friday, June 29, 2018 by Chris Thayer

The MeToo movement went global after actress Alyssa Milano asked her Twitter followers to share their experiences with sexual harassment using the hashtag #MeToo. That movement reached all the way to the Washington state legislature, which passed a law earlier this year banning privileged medical records and mental health records from being used in most discrimination cases. The law took effect on June 7.

*What is a Discrimination Case?*Washington law prohibits unfair and discriminatory treatment in the workplace, in real estate transactions, and in public accommodations, among other situations. For example, employers can not refuse to hire someone based on certain characteristics. Specifically, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of:

Sexual harassment is a type of sex or gender-based discrimination. Whether you are harassed at work or in another protected situation, you have the right to take your harasser to court.

*How Does the New Law Work?*Before the legislature passed this new law, defense attorneys could use victim’s medical records against them. For example, imagine a victim who is experiencing emotional distress and mental anguish after being sexually harassed at work. Now imagine the tactics the harasser might use to avoid paying damages. In the past, the defense could present the victim’s medical history as evidence that his or her emotional distress was actually caused by another event. Maybe the victim had an abortion or was treated for a sexually transmitted disease. All of those private details could be on display.

Now, the harassment victim’s medical records can only be used as evidence under the following circumstances:

An experienced attorney can develop an effective litigation strategy that takes advantage of these new procedural protections.

*What are Emotional Distress Damages?*Emotional distress damages are noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages are subjective losses, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, and injury to reputation. Economic damages, on the other hand, are easily quantifiable expenses like medical bills and lost wages.

Washington places a cap on the amount of noneconomic damages that personal injury claimants may receive in personal injury lawsuits. That cap is determined using a very specific formula. An experienced attorney can explain that formula to you and help ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

*Contact Us Today*Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if you were sexually harassed at work. You have a right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Our experienced attorneys will guide you through the litigation process and help recover the compensation that you deserve, including emotional distress damages.