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California City mayor facing hostile work environment claim

The notorious sexual harassment case against Mayor Bob Filner in San Diego may be on its last legs, but another California mayor is now under scrutiny for similar missteps. The man, California City Mayor Patrick Bohannon, is facing a variety of workplace complaints. He is accused of maintaining a hostile work environment, along with perpetuating sexual harassment and gender discrimination. So far, 20 defendants have been named in the case, which was filed in March by a 50-year-old female Water Department employee.

The ongoing case is scheduled for a conference in mid-November.

Courtroom documents show that the woman is accusing the man of stalking and harassing her because of her gender. In addition, the victim claims that the mayor scoffed at the city's agreement to pay the woman for training, especially considering that she would never receive a promotion at the male-dominated Water Department.

A variety of other allegations underscore the severity of the sexual harassment problem at the California City offices, where the woman suffered so much emotional distress that she eventually had to visit the hospital. The victim reportedly was temporarily blinded in one eye during the string of incidents in 2010, during which she experienced an extraordinary spike in blood pressure. She would even go so far as to avoid City Hall if she saw the man's vehicle at that facility.

Of course, the city argues that no harassment ever took place, and the mayor could even suggest that some of his comments were warranted. At one point, the man referenced sex toys while talking to the woman in a professional context - as it turns out, she had previously been employed making those items. City officials contend that the woman's claims have no merit.

Even if a worker has had a salacious previous occupation, he or she does not deserve to be harassed by an unscrupulous supervisor. Every worker has the right to feel comfortable and safe in the workplace, and they should be compensated if they have faced undue hardship because of harassment.


Source: 
www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com, "Cal City mayor sued in sex harassment claim" Theo Douglas, Nov. 16, 2013

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