Woman believes report of sexual harassment led to firing
Most individuals who reside in the United States have certain expectations regarding the way in which they will be treated while working. This includes not being sexually harassed. In addition to making a workplace an uncomfortable place to be–and likely having a negative impact on the amount and quality of work being accomplished–it is also illegal. Despite this, workers throughout the state of New York still must face actions that constitute sexual harassment. When this occurs, a victim may decide to take legal action.
The former development director at a private Catholic high school located in Staten Island, has done that very thing. She asserts that her co-worker—the school’s 57-year-old athletic director and chief operating officer—attempted to start a sexual relationship with her. More specifically she alleges that he:
- Entered he office in a forceful manner and told her that they should have an affair.
- Tried to get her to go on a romantic getaway.
- Made her sit on his lap.
- Touched her buttocks.
She also asserts that he told her that he loved her, that they were soul mates and that she had a dancer’s body.
Interestingly, the man is under investigation by the New York Police Department due to allegations unrelated to this claim, that he had knowledge of sexual relationships occurring between another woman who he supervised and students at the school.
The former development director said that after rebuffing the advances she made a formal complaint to the school board. She believes that as a result of that complaint she lost her job. Accordingly she filed a complaint with New York state’s Division of Human Rights. The matter has yet to be resolved. We will provide updates as they become available.
Retaliation following a report of illegal actions such as sexual harassment is all too common. Sometimes employers pursue that course of action in an effort to make the reported issue go away. As this particular situation illustrates, it can have the exact opposite effect.
Workers who find that they are in this situation may feel intimidated and be unsure of their options. An employment lawyer is usually a good person to consult concerning his or her options.
Source: The New York Post, “Female coaches ‘had sex with students for years’,” Brad Hamilton, Aug. 30, 2014