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Ex-Chauffeur Settles Sexual Harassment at Work Claim against Liza Minnelli

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By Minara El-Rahman on December 23, 2009 1:30 PM

The New York Post recently reported that Liza Minnelli has secretly settled a lawsuit in which her former chauffeur M'Hammed Soumayah claimed sexual harassment at work. The lawsuit was filed back in 2004.

This is definitely not a typical sexual harassment at work lawsuit. First, it deals with a male employee who claims that his female employer sexually harassed him. Second, the chauffeur worked with Ms. Minnelli for over a decade. And lastly, Ms. Minnelli had a countersuit against her chauffeur for breaching a confidentiality agreement.

What were the claims?

Mr. Soumayah, who is married with two children, claimed that Ms. Minnelli beat him while she was drunk on repeated occasions.

He also claimed that Ms. Minnelli forced him to have sex with her even though he was married.

According to the ex-driver, Ms. Minnelli threatened to fire him from his job (which paid $283,000-a-year) if he did not have sex with her.

What is sexual harassment at work?

Accordingly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is: "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment."

What were the terms of settlement?

All litigation pending from this lawsuit and Ms. Minnelli's countersuit has been dropped. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

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