A worker for a California nonprofit agency is filing suit, alleging that she was sexually harassed and that her employer did nothing to stop the occurrences. Her suit further alleges that her employer threatened retaliation if she continued to bring the matter of the alleged sexual harassment to light.
According to the lawsuit, the woman worked for the nonprofit agency for approximately six months. During that time, she says her immediate supervisor repeatedly harassed her in a sexual manner. The allegations include the fact that the supervisor touched her inappropriately and continually made comments to her that were of a sexual nature. For example, on one occasion, the man reportedly bumped into the woman from behind. He then made a comment about not getting “front action.”
On another occasion, the man reportedly asked the female employee for a safety pin after saying he broke the zipper on his pants. He made a comment to her about not wearing underwear. On yet another occasion, the man allegedly exposed himself to the woman in the workplace.
The lawsuit doesn’t just allege sexual harassment. It also alleges wrongful termination and retaliation. The woman filing the suit claims she went to her boss’s boss with the allegations, as was appropriate per policy. The boss’s boss allegedly told the woman she would be fired if she didn’t stop making the allegations, and that the man in question was the executive’s “right hand.”
The woman filing the lawsuit reportedly went on medical leave due to an acute distress disorder — caused in part by the harassment — and was fired during that leave. She claims the termination was wrongful. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, consider taking similar steps as this woman. First, speak to human resources or appropriate leadership staff about the matter. If the matter isn’t resolved, consider filing an outside complaint with the help of a legal professional.
Source: The Sun, “Sexual harassment, cover-up alleged at San Bernardino nonprofit serving disabled persons,” Joe Nelson, Sep. 15, 2016