On Jan. 6, it was reported that a California judge ordered the founder of Bikram yoga to turn over proceeds from his business to his former legal adviser. The adviser won a $6.8 million judgement against him last year after winning a wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawsuit in 2016.
The adviser's attorney stated that the adviser, who worked for the Los Angeles yoga school from 2011 to 2013, was fired when she refused to assist the founder with covering up a rape allegation. The adviser claimed that he also touched her inappropriately. Following the lawsuit, she was awarded $1 million in compensatory damages and approximately $6 million in punitive damages.
The judge ordered the yoga founder to turn over receiver funds from his book sales and the proceeds from nearly 700 yoga studios all over the world. In December, the founder was also ordered to turn over a luxury car collection. In January 2016, when the award was first ordered, the founder claimed that he was bankrupt; however, his attorney did not provide a comment.
If a person is fired from their job for failing to assist with a cover-up or in retaliation for reporting harassment, they may potentially have the ability to file a lawsuit. An employee law attorney may assist with filing a wrongful termination lawsuit against the former employer. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, the employee may assist with seeking compensation for loss of income, loss of benefits and potentially even punitive damages. If the case is won but the employer claims that the award cannot be paid, the attorney may work with the court to find other ways to receive compensation.
Source: Insurance Journal, "California Court Orders Hot Yoga Guru to Cough up Income to Pay For Suit", 01/06/2017