A former Philadelphia policewoman recently filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her boss of four years, who she says repeatedly sexually harassed her and forced her into a sexual relationship. The allegations are quite disturbing, as is the fact that the man accused of the misconduct was a high-ranking official within the department.
The boss apparently told the woman that there were many other applicants lined up for her job that would readily provide him with sexual favors in return, insisting that this was the way the police department operated. Other employees have since come forward to assert that the police department does have a culture of sexual harassment and coercion in the workplace.
One woman described her effort to turn down sexual advances by a male officer only to have her colleagues pressure her to give in. She told reporters that there was no one to turn to for help.
In this case, there truly was nowhere to go for help. The officer accused of the sexual harassment and assault was in charge of internal investigations and equal opportunity employment complaints.
After the woman finally confided in a colleague about the situation, that colleague reported the misconduct to other authorities within the police department. Shortly after, the woman was apparently the subject of retaliation when she was transferred to a different job that she had to leave because of a hostile work environment.
In our next post, we'll discuss more of the specifics of this case.
For more information about workplace sexual harassment claims in Pennsylvania, visit our employment law firm's website.
Source: Daily News, "Policewoman says she endured years of sexual harassment by internal affairs boss," Barbara Laker & David Gambacorta, August 8, 2012.