If harassment is reported, and the employee suffers consequences as a result, that employee not only may have a legal claim for harassment but retaliation as well. Understanding your rights as an employee can be a very difficult road to traverse without a law degree.
But in recent months, documents released by the city have shed light on allegations that former police Chief Frank Straub verbally abused subordinates, with one accusing him of sexual harassment.The Spokane City Council and Mayor David Condon have hired an independent investigator to look into the circumstances surrounding Straub's ouster, as well as how well the city handles employee complaints of discrimination and harassment.A person making a claim of hostile work environment harassment need only be affected by the harassing conduct, not necessarily the employee to whom the conduct is directed. These laws do not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments or isolated incidents that are not serious.Instead, the conduct must be so objectively offensive as to change the conditions of the person’s employment whether as a result of a tangible employment action or is sufficiently severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment."I still do." In a city with 2,000 employees, there's bound to be friction between different personalities. The EEOC also found that O'Brien was subjected to retaliation by other employees after the city improperly released documents during its investigation.
Some appeal to HR in hopes of a resolution; some of those are invariably left unsatisfied by the outcome. The EEOC further determined that the release had a "chilling effect on other employees' willingness to speak out against or complain about employment discrimination." O'Brien thought her situation was rare.She says she routinely found the toilet covered in urine and chewing tobacco spit.She says the message was clear: You are not wanted here.eginning in 2013, Sonya O'Brien began writing down, in a red, spiral-bound notebook, all the retaliation she says she received after complaining of harassment while working as an operator in the male-dominated subculture at Spokane's wastewater treatment plant: the sexualized environment, the befouled locker rooms and the dread that marked her final days before she quit.O'Brien says she complained to her union representative and the city's Human Resources Department.Harassment victims need to choose to either continue to tolerate the situation or take steps to end it, which may result in negative consequences. 2257 (1998) The Ellerth ruling encouraged employers to put in place policies forbidding harassment and procedures for filing complaints, investigating complaints and discipline for those found to have harassed others. Contact us to discuss your situation, your legal rights and options on how you can move forward.