Recently, sexual harassment allegations were brought up against the Pennsylvania Senate security force by two former female employees who provided security as part of a team of 16 employees. The two women alleged that they were subjected to inappropriate sexual behavior and lewd comments and text messages by other male members of the security force. The women also stated that they were sent inappropriate pictures and cartoons that were sexual in nature, including pictures of male genitalia.
Complaining Within the Organization
The women stated in their lawsuit that they originally made internal complaints regarding the behavior but that nothing was done by leadership to stop the behavior. There is also a former male employee that joined in the lawsuit, stating that an adverse employment action was taken against him because he befriended one of the alleged victims and because he was asking too many questions about the alleged sexual harassment. He was ultimately fired for insubordination, but the senate security force was unable to sufficiently prove insubordination at a hearing regarding that employee’s unemployment insurance. Therefore, that employee claims that he was terminated as a result of retaliation for inquiring about the sexual harassment allegations.
Like sexual harassment in the workplace, retaliatory behavior that can be linked to complaints of sexual harassment is also illegal since it is a form of discrimination. A second male employee also believes he was fired because he witnessed the sexual harassment.
A lawyer for the security force said that these allegations may be related to growing pains associated with a change in leadership in the department. The department denies the allegations. One of the female plaintiffs in the lawsuit states that she was constructively discharged because after her complaint, she was transferred, and the overall work environment was so unbearable that she had no choice but to quit the job that she loved.
Many sexual harassment cases follow this type of pattern where the employees make complaints. The complaints are not sufficiently addressed and then the employees are either transferred, fired, or end up quitting due to the pervasive nature of sexual harassment in the workplace. In this case, the male plaintiff and the other male who witnessed the harassment may be able to serve as witnesses on the female plaintiff’s behalf to provide that the sexual harassment in the workplace was so pervasive and ongoing, creating a hostile work environment. Often, victims of alleged sexual harassment show evidence of mental health problems that stemmed from the sexual harassment at work and the retaliatory acts that affected their ability to do their job after complaining.
Chester County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Bring Sexual Harassment Claims Against Negligent Employers
Sexual harassment and discrimination can happen in all types of workplace environments. Our Chester County sexual harassment lawyers can evaluate your situation and provide advice on what next steps are available. Health problems, which are related to the sexual harassment can be relevant to your claim. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment and have either complained at work or are considering making a complaint, contact Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. With locations in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve the surrounding areas.