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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37871
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Extortion by an employee attempting to extract money from the

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Extortion by an employee attempting to extract money from the business on the guise of sexual harrasment. (female supervisor head of the lab is a male). The evidence used of sexual harrasment is based on a casual conversation that occurred a month prior with no sexual overtones never any sexual or physical contact or even casual jokes in the office

When the real reason is that the employee a sleep lab supervisor was performing sleep studies without an essential vital parameter an ECG tracing during sleep. When confronted the supervisor said it was not essential. When in fact it is essential and not legal to perform a sleep study without the heart tracing

In actual fact the ECG is almost the only way to determine that the patient is alive during sleep. Also determines risk if irregular heart beat occurs.

Here at, you must ask a definite and certain question, in order to receive an answer. What is the question about your circumstances that I can "justanswer" for you today?

Thanks in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is it extortion when a female employee uses the guise of sexual harassment with money damages to avoid being judged on performance at work.

She is aware that she is a diabetic and hindered by health reasons to perform adequately.

Is it extortion when a female employee uses the guise of sexual harassment with money damages to avoid being judged on performance at work.

A: Criminal extortion under California law has very specific parameters. Penal Code 518 provides: "Extortion is the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, or the obtaining of an official act of a public officer, induced by a wrongful use of force or fear, or under color of official right."

Penal Code 519 provides: "Fear, such as will constitute extortion, may be induced by a threat, either:

1. To do an unlawful injury to the person or property of the individual threatened or of a third person; or,
2. To accuse the individual threatened, or any relative of his, or member of his family, of any crime; or,
3. To expose, or to impute to him or them any deformity, disgrace or crime; or,
4. To expose any secret affecting him or them."

Sexual harassment, both under California and federal law is not a crime -- it is a civil wrong, provided by statute (Cal. Govt. Code 12940; 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)). This eliminates factor #2 above immediately. However, were the claim to be proved absolutely fraudulent, i.e., intended to injure the employer's property interests, or to expose the employer to disgrace, then factors #1 and #3 would be satisfied, and criminal extortion would be a valid criminal charge.

Proof in a criminal matter, of course, must be beyond all reasonable doubt. So, the academic statement that the employee's alleged fraudulent claim may rise to the level of criminal extortion, does not mean that the state can prove extortion to 12 jurors who are a member of the community beyond all reasonable doubt. The district attorney may simply decide that the claim is too difficult to prove and then leave it to the parties to deal with the issue as a civil matter under the state and federal employment discrimination laws.

But, as an academic question, were the employee to be proved to have completely manufactured the charge of sexual harassment, then that would be criminal extortion under California law.

Please let me know if my answer is helpful or if I can assist you further.
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