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Sexual harassment case against the Army settles for $820K

The Army is known for a strict belief in core values, but a woman who was a military police trainee outside Texas argues that not everyone abides. She claims that she was the victim of sexual harassment and filed a federal lawsuit against the Army. The woman alleges that her decision to complain about the harassment led to her termination.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff's former supervisor began to send her inappropriate text messages. Reportedly, some of the texts contained nude photos and sexual remarks. The plaintiff asserts that hundreds of these messages were sent to her at all hours of the day.

Unable to tolerate the harassment, the plaintiff purportedly complained to try to get the improper conduct to stop. She claims she was surprised that she was not supported and was exposed to a hostile work environment instead. Allegedly, her supervisor was very popular, and the plaintiff was fired because she refused to tolerate his behavior. Her former supervisor apparently avoided discipline and was given another position once the evidence of the harassment was presented against him. The situation only became more difficult because the offending sergeant's wife was the plaintiff's superior.

An Army spokesperson described the incident as regrettable and acknowledged that a breach of Army Core Values occurred, prompting a settlement of the sexual harassment case for $820,000. It was alleged that the Army knew the Sergeant had a history of sexual harassment and that his wife was the direct report for any complaints about him. Although the plaintiff stated she will no longer be able to work in law enforcement, she hopes that her case will help other women to stand up against this type of intolerable behavior. Although it is uncomfortable and even intimidating, individuals in Texas who have been exposed to a hostile work environment are within their legal rights to consider filing claims against their employers.

Source: ABC News, "Army Pays Woman $820,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Case", Julie Watson, Feb. 10, 2016

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