A woman hailed by members of the #MeToo movement has settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against Terranea Resort, where she worked as a dishwasher, and the staffing agency that placed her there for $250,000, her attorney announced Tuesday.
Sandra Pezqueda — who was included in Time magazine’s “Persons of the Year” issue in December that honored “Silence Breakers” who spoke out against sexual harassment — filed suit against the Rancho Palos Verdes luxury resort and Excellent Maintenance Service Inc. last October, alleging she was fired after complaining to management about a supervisor who was sexually harassing her.
The defendants denied any wrongdoing.
According to her Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, Pezqueda was pursued for months by a male supervisor who changed her schedule and cut her hours after she rebuffed his advances. After coming forward and reporting the issue, Pezqueda alleged that the company targeted her and ultimately fired her.
The agreement does not contain a non-disclosure agreement that would limit her ability to speak about her experiences at Terranea, according to her lawyer, meaning she can continue to advocate for women’s rights in the workplace and share her story.
“I know firsthand how hard it can be to speak out about sexual harassment,” Pezequea said in a statement released by Pasadena-based attorney Lauren Teukolsky.
“After I was fired, I felt depressed and angry,” Pezqueda said. “I don’t want other women to go through what I did.”
Teukolsky said representing Pezqueda was a privilege.
“She is a hero,” the lawyer said. “After she got fired for complaining about sexual harassment, she could have just walked away. Instead, she stood up. She is part of the #MeToo revolution and she inspires me every day to fight harder for women in the workplace.”