Most of our readers probably hope that their work environment will be a pleasant and fairly enjoyable place to spend the workweek. Although some employees have very positive experiences at work, others do not. Unfortunately, in some case, employees experiences sexual harassment and discrimination. These serious acts not only make it difficult for employees to tolerate the work environment, it also puts their career and livelihood at risk, which could cause some employees to be hesitant to report these situations.
Following issues with sexual harassment, racial discrimination and a hostile work environment, a female lieutenant at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office filed a race and gender discrimination complaint. The complaint addressed various events she experienced during her employment. She indicated that when she earned her promotion to sergeant in 1998, her supervisor told her that she did not deserve the promotion but rather received it because she was black.
Following this incident, she experienced sexual harassment from a male sergeant. She had made various complaints about the sexually explicit remarks directed towards her, but no actions were taken to correct or prevent this.
It was claimed that the sheriff’s office was a hostile work environment for black women for decades. Following her recently filed complaint; a former sheriff’s deputy came forward with similar complaints. When complaints like this are filed, other current and former employees may have similar experiences to report. In these cases, these former or current employees could enjoin this current complaint or file one of their own. This could result in awarded compensation that would go towards the damages that this experience caused to the victim employees.
Employees who believe that they are dealing with sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace should seek to better the situation. This might mean reporting those that are carrying out these acts. If no actions are taken, then it might be proper to file a complaint. Those unsure of how the situation should be handled may want to learn more about their rights and options in the situation.
Source: MPR News, “Henn. Co. black female officer complains of racial, sexual harassment,” Brandt Williams, Nov. 18, 2013