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Sexual harassment claim by 3 women took too long for justice

Reporting unwanted behavior in the workplace requires a lot of courage. Once the sexual harassment has been brought forward, it is expected that the situation will be handled in a timely fashion. However, some companies in Florida and elsewhere may not take the allegations seriously and may take an unacceptably long time disciplining the offending party.

Three women who worked for a police department in another state claim that they were all the victims of sexual harassment at the hands of their deputy chief. One of the plaintiffs allege that her superior was showing other employees a photo of a naked woman that he claimed was her. The two other women said that the deputy chief had a photograph of both of them wearing bikinis that he was flaunting around to his colleagues. One of the photographed women stated that the picture was taken without permission from her phone.

The three women complained to their higher ranking superiors about the behavior, but they did not get the results that they had anticipated. Instead, the plaintiffs assert that they became the victims of retaliation. One of the plaintiffs felt that she had to leave her position after 18 years of service because of the resulting retaliation by the deputy chief, who had started disciplinary actions against her. All of the women later filed a complaint against the department that sparked knowledge that their superior had not been properly disciplined.

It is believed that their superior was not fired and was placed on administrative leave so that he could reach his 20-year mark with the department and retire with full benefits. The mayor was apparently aware of the plaintiff's claims for 18 months, and human resources had found basis to the women's claims. The city chief avers that the allegations were not strong enough for the deputy chief to be fired, so it was decided that he would be remain in another position until he reached full retirement. Sexual harassment claims are serious and those in Florida who believe that they have been subjected to inappropriate behavior should first move through the proper channels to report the issue. If the situation is not handled in a timely fashion with an agreeable resolution, the workers may move forward with civil court claims.

Source: sltrib.com, "Critics blast SLC mayor, chief for slow reaction to harassment", Christopher Smart, May 29, 2015

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