Sacramento County sued for failing to stop sexual harassment
Posted in Sexual Harassment on September 19, 2013
It seems as though sexual harassment claims are plaguing local governments throughout California. Recently, Bob Filner resigned as mayor of San Diego after more than a dozen women publicly accused him of sexual harassment.
And now, Sacramento County is preparing to defend itself in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by two former employees. The women allege that they were both harassed by the same supervisor for several years, and that despite a number of complaints, the allegations were never adequately investigated.
The two plaintiffs formerly worked as inspection aides in Sacramento County’s Department of Agriculture and Weights and Measures. The women allege that their supervisor sexually harassed them over a several-year period, primarily through inappropriate comments and sexual advances.
One of the women recalls: “He would tell me how he would love the opportunity to sleep with me. There were a lot of blatant advances. He didn’t hide it.” The advances were so blatant, in fact, that the supervisor allegedly made inappropriate comments to one of the women in the middle of an online sexual harassment training session. He allegedly said: “I’m distracted, I can’t stop looking at your lips.”
Rather than settling out of court, the county seems prepared to let the lawsuit go to trial. Attorneys representing the county do seem to acknowledge that these conversations took place, but argue that they were “consensual.”
Like many sexual harassment victims, the women say it took years for them to come forward because they worried about being fired. When they did finally report their supervisor’s behavior and comments, their complaints allegedly fell on deaf ears.
Hopefully, this lawsuit will result in some overdue compensation and corrective action.
Source: Sacramento Bee, “Public Eye: Sacramento County fights sexual harassment claim,” Richard Chang, Sept. 15, 2013