Even though most places of work have instituted sexual harassment training programs with the intent to create a safe environment, the unfortunate reality is that improper workplace conduct still occurs. It's even more disappointing when those with authority, who should be enforcing the rules and regulations, are the perpetrators.
One Galveston County law enforcement officer has issued a lawsuit against his superior officer for unwanted sexual advances and unfair retaliation after he attempted to report the incidents. According to court documents, the county constable repeatedly made lewd comments to the deputy in question. At one point, she even forced the man's head under her shirt.
Clearly uncomfortable with his superior's behavior, he attempted to document the incidents by obtaining audio recordings. Eventually, the woman discovered that her conversations were being taped, so she destroyed the tapes and suspended the deputy. The deputy eventually resigned from his post.
Most recently, the man stood up for his rights and decided to seek justice for the unfair treatment he experienced. He filed a complaint in Galveston County court and with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
In response the claims, the constable defends her "clean" record covering 19 years of service to the county. She also alleges that the deputy was allowed to say and do whatever he wants at the station, but was never held accountable for his actions.
No matter the nature of the incidents, or who is committing them, this kind of behavior is not acceptable in the workplace. It violates an employee's right to feel safe and comfortable while at work. Someone in such a high-ranking position, such as the constable, should have a clear understanding of what kind of conduct is appropriate in a work setting.
Furthermore, the deputy did not deserve to be suspended for doing the right thing. He was only doing what was right and paid unfair consequences for doing so. For the deputy's sake, and for others who work in the county constable's office, hopefully this situation will inspire law enforcement officials to create an environment that is safe and welcoming to all its employees.
Source: ABC News, "Texas Constable Pam Matranga Allegedly Forced Deputy to 'Motorboat' Her Breasts," Alyssa Newcomb, May 8, 2012