Well this takes the proverbial cake. While we’re not making light of this at all, one of the two reasons a masseuse at Burke Williams Spa in West Hollywood sued the company (and won $285,000) was that a man “groaned” during his massage which she took for a sexual innuendo. Who doesn’t let out a little moan or groan during a rubdown. Of course we weren’t there to see exactly what happened and perhaps the situation got ugly. But we’d better keep a lid on it if we decide to moan or groan during our rubdowns and make no moves or motions that could be misconstrued as sexual.
Anyhow here’s the story according a piece in today’s (September 9, 2013) on line edition of the Hollywood Patch:
“A jury last week ordered an upscale massage chain to pay $285,000 to a former employee who alleged she was sexually harassed by male customers and that the company did not take steps to stop the behavior.” The article said the panel deliberated for about a day before finding in favor of Domaniqueca Dickson of West Hollywood, who sued Burke Williams in July 2011. About $250,000 was fo n punitive damages based on the conclusion by the jury that Burke Williams acted with malice toward her and $35,000 for lost wages and her emotional distress.
Patch reported that although Dickson's complaint alleged a variety of causes of action that included sexual harassment, racial discrimination -- the plaintiff is black and gay --negligence and infliction of emotional distress, the jury decided that the evidence supported only one cause of action -- failure to prevent harassment based on Dickson's sex.
Now here’s the rub:
Dickson said that a male guest groaned during a massage and made a sexually oriented movement on the table, two months later another man exposed himself to her. Often there is a slip of the sheet, of course we don't know if the client is guilty as charged or is just a perv. She reported both offenses, but claimed, according to the Patch piece that Burke Williams management looked the other way and didn’t deal with it.