Another sexual harassment suit filed against ex-mayor Bob Filner

Posted in Sexual Harassment on August 25, 2014

It has been nearly a year since Bob Filner resigned in disgrace from his short-lived stint as mayor of San Diego. After being inundated by very public allegations of sexual harassment from dozens of women, the long-time politician had little choice but to step down.

Although many lawsuits against Mr. Filner have been settled or otherwise resolved, his legal trouble s are not yet finished. Recently, the ex-San Diego mayor was sued by another former staff member who alleges that she was the victim of “severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”

The 50-year-old plaintiff, who once served as Filner’s executive assistant, alleges that Filner repeatedly attempted to grab her buttocks and breasts, asked for kisses and verbally propositioned her for sex. His comments allegedly included sentences such as “Let’s have sex on the conference table.”

She filed a claim with the city of San Diego for $1.5 million. After the claim was rejected, she filed the lawsuit. Her attorney notes that the plaintiff’s claims are significantly different in one way than those made by many other victims. He said: “Filner acted creepy toward a lot of women who came to him at City Hall for help but they could just walk away. But [my client] felt trapped, she had to put up with Filner to keep her job.”

Sexual harassment is wrong in any context. But in the workplace, the fear of losing one’s job and livelihood adds an extra layer of fear, anxiety and injustice to an already unjust situation.

The important thing for victims to remember is that most sexual harassers will not stop on their own. They must be held accountable for their actions. By coming forward and seeking a legal remedy, sexual harassment victims are advocating on behalf of themselves and all others who may be in that situation.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Ex-San Diego Mayor Bob Filner faces another sexual harassment lawsuit,” Tony Perry, Aug. 22, 2014