A female police officer in California has recently chosen to file a lawsuit against the city and police department of Pleasant Hill for which she works, alleging she is a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The officer’s lawsuit further claims that she was subjected to working in a hostile work environment because the harassment went on for several months. The officer claims that she endured gender discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress and retaliation. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for her employer’s failure to prevent and put an end to such awful practices in the workplace.

The officer, who has worked for the police department for over 10 years, was involved in an on-again-off-again romantic relationship with a supervising officer in the department. After she ended the relationship in 2011, the supervising officer began harassing her by calling her offensive names and using abusive language when speaking with her in front of others at their work. The supervising officer also sent the woman harassing text messages for refusing to get back together with him.

The female officer suspected that the supervising officer had even used a GPS device to track her whereabouts on two separate occasions. The supervising officer had also threatened other police officers with bodily harm if they had any involvement with the woman, the lawsuit states.

Sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t always reported right away — or ever — because victims of harassment often feel intimidated and scared. The supervisor’s actions in this case, were indeed scary and intimidating. And perhaps the female officer allowed the actions to continue in hopes that the supervising officer would eventually stop harassing her. Workers should know that they never have to put up with this type of behavior in the workplace. Men and women have rights, and when these rights are violated by their employers, co-workers or supervisors, they have every reason to do what is necessary to put an end to illegal practices in the office.

Source: Contra Costa Times, “Pleasant Hill police officer suing the city, police department alleging sexual harassment,” Feb. 1, 2013

  • Our Los Angeles / Long Beach employment law firm handles a wide variety of sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims. To learn more about employee rights and our firm, please visit our Long Beach sexual harassment lawyer page.