A woman who was formerly a dispatcher at California’s Newport Beach police department filed a sexual harassment lawsuit recently against the police chief, stating that she was not only sexually harassed but also discriminated against and wrongfully terminated as well. Although the city and police department are included in the lawsuit, most of the allegations are directed towards the chief of police.

The woman alleges that the police chief began making inappropriate comments and using his authority to intimidate her after her husband, who used to be a police officer himself, testified against several department officials in a separate case. The woman’s lawsuit alleges that after her husband testified against the department’s misconduct, she became subject to sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is not an issue to be taken lightly. It is one that comes with consequences due to the discomfort and trauma that it can put the harassed person through. Sexual harassment includes any type of sexual advances that make the other person feel uncomfortable. Examples include lewd comments, demotion, sexually explicit materials in the workplace, sexual innuendo and the use of another’s authority to try to make sexual advances, such as worsening work hours, decreasing wages and otherwise unfairly discriminating against the worker. Unlawful retaliation like firing is also sometimes the result of sexual harassment incidents.

People subjected to sexual harassment might want to seek out the services of an attorney who may help them file a sexual harassment lawsuit against their workplace. It is an employer’s responsibility to provide their workers a safe work environment, and failure to do so could make them liable for compensation monies to the workers harmed by workplace discrimination.

Source: LA Times, “Ex-Newport Beach dispatcher claims sexual harassment by chief in suit“, Jill Cowan, May 03, 2013