World famous yoga teacher, Bikram Choudhury, has been hit with nearly $1 million in fines for sexually harassing one of his former employees.
According to the lawsuit, Choudhury's personal attorney, Minakshi Jafa-Bodden, was terminated because she was looking into charges of sexual misconduct against Choudhury. During trial proceedings, Choudhury denied all of the allegations, saying that he fired his legal advisor simply because she lacked sufficient licensing to be his legal representative in the United States.
Jury Ruled in Favor of the Plaintiff
A Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The jury awarded Jafa-Bodden $924,500 in compensatory damages after it was proved that Choudhury committed retaliation, sexual harassment and discrimination against the woman.
Bikram is most famous for the special style of hot yoga he developed and spread through an empire of yoga schools around the world. The Bikram Yoga style rose in popularity after Choudhury published a book with photographs, illustrations and descriptions of 26 signature yoga poses and breathing exercises in 1979. The most controversial part of the yoga style is the fact that it is done in an extremely hot practice room, which is heated up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. While some yoga practitioners disagree with the philosophy of heating the room, other yoga students say that the heated room makes for a powerful and healthful experience.
Victims of Sexual Harassment Can Fight Back in Court
Sexual harassment is unlawful and no employee in the United States should ever have to put up with this kind of abuse. State and federal laws offer strong protections against the victims of sexual harassment and it does not matter if the victims are male, female or transgender. If it can be proved in court that an individual was subjected to discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, name calling, unwanted touching, unwanted sexual advances or other kinds of unconscionable behavior at his or her workplace, then claims of sexual harassment can be made.
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