Ex-Personal Assistant to Harvey Weinstein Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

By Ceylan Pumphrey, Esq. on January 29, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

From Matt Lauer to Kevin Spacey, it seems that there has long been an environment of pervasive sexual misconduct that was largely unnoticed (or ignored) by the majority of people in the entertainment industry. One name that seems to stand above others when it comes to sexual misconduct is Harvey Weinstein.

It seems that the allegations of Weinstein's sexual misconduct served as the catalyst that empowered other victims to speak up. Weinstein has been accused of several acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, and is currently facing several lawsuits including a federal class action RICO lawsuit. Now, Deadline reports that his ex-personal assistant, Sandeep Rehal, has filed her own sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

"Pervasive and Severe Sexually Hostile Work Environment"

In her complaint filed in the New York Supreme Court, Rehal asserts that she had to work for over two years in a "pervasive and severe sexually hostile work environment." Rehal alleges that she had to endure "offensive, degrading, and sexually harassing actions, statements, and touching" from Weinstein. The complaint goes on to detail exactly how Weinstein sexually harassed her, including the allegation that Rehal was required to "assist" in Weinstein's sex life. This hostile work environment eventually led Rehal to "an emotional breaking point" and she left the position.

What Conduct Is Considered Sexual Harassment?

Reading Rehal's allegations, it may be clear to you that she was indeed being sexually harassed. But, sexual harassment can be more subtle than what Rehal experienced working for Weinstein. There are actually two types of sexual harassment at work: hostile work environment and quid pro quo. As you can see from Rehal's allegations, a hostile work environment occurs when there is unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Quid pro quo sexual harassment, on the other hand, occurs when a superior offers or even hints that he or she will give the employee something, such as a raise, in return for a sexual demand.

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