SFPUC employee given sexually explicit home videos of manager

Posted in Sexual Harassment on June 19, 2013

For most residents, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission provides benefits that they couldn’t or wouldn’t want to go a day without. We rely on the power, water and sewage services for everything from getting ready, to eating and for many of our leisure activities. But for one woman, the utilities company was a source of pure torment. 

The woman worked as an operator at a water treatment plant. She was hired in  2005, but she said that by 2010 the work environment had become so hostile that she had been forced to quit. Why? She said that she endured extreme sexual harassment on a daily basis. 

Imagine being a woman who had to go to a workplace where male co-workers watched pornography on their computers, made explicitly sexual comments near you or directed at you and even touched you in an offensive manner. That was what this woman was put through, according to her complaint filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and a later complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court. 

As if the atmosphere was not offensive enough, her manager committed some pretty overt acts that crossed the line. She was given videos that showed her manager masturbating and then brought it into 3D by asking her in person to perform oral sex on him. 

When she complained about co-workers or refused the advances of her manager, she was met with threats and other forms of retaliation. 

After what could only be described as a horrifying experience, the Board of Supervisors for the SFPUC is scheduled to approve a $350,000 settlement with the woman. 

Source: SF Examiner, “Ex-SFPUC worker to receive $350K settlement in sexual harassment lawsuit,” Joshua Sabatini, June 18, 2013