The Los Angeles Times reports today that CB Richard Ellis Group has agreed to pay upwards of $150,000 per female employee under a class action settlement of a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. According to the report, the class action complaint alleged that female employees were “subjected to lewd remarks, unwanted groping and sexual propositions by male co-workers,” as well as pornographic material “distributed via email and displayed on office computers.” CB Richard Ellis did not admit any of the class action allegations, but agreed to pay $3.4 million in attorney fees, donate $400,000 to a trade group to “promote the advancement of women in the [commercial real estate brokerage] industry,” and pay from $1,500 to $150,000 to female employees in accordance with a graduated proof plan. According to the Times, female employees can maintain anonymity and still recover $1500 if they prove to an arbitrator that they were subjected to sexual harassment or discrimination. A “second tier” permits female employees to recover up to $15,000 but they must disclose their identity to defense attorneys and CB Richard Ellis would be entitled to submit documents disputing each claim. Women who participate in the top tier may recover up to $150,000 but their claims “would be subject to full arbitration hearings with witnesses.”
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