Lawsuit Alleges Harassment on ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Set

Sexual harassment scandals continue to erupt in industries across the country, and even Hawaii has not been spared as a result of a recent lawsuit involving the ‘Hawaii Five-O’ production.
A locations assistant working on “Hawaii Five-O” was subjected to repeated harassment by a colleague, according to a lawsuit she recently filed.  The lawsuit involves claims that the locations assistant, Kelly Tolar, was harassed and threatened by Jake Downer, a locations scout and the son of executive producer Jeffrey Downer.  The lawsuit names CBS, a production company, and both of the Downers as defendants, and alleges that Jake Downer engaged in a pattern of harassing conduct against Tolar between 2014 and 2015.
Downer’s misconduct allegedly included pursuing unwanted sexual contact with Tolar, discussing sexual matters with her, and making threats to light her and her desk on fire, as well as to take other threatening or potentially harmful actions against her and others.  The lawsuit alleges that while Tolar reported Downer’s misconduct to managers, they did not take immediate action to address the report.  While they eventually talked to him, they allegedly never took formal disciplinary action against him.  Such actions constitute a violation of sexual harassment law, according to the lawsuit.
The facts alleged by Tolar serve as a reminder that employers should take every harassment complaint seriously by having an impartial investigator conduct a prompt and through investigation and taking prompt corrective action to ensure that any harassment does not continue.