An employee in the Florida court system has filed a sexual harassment suit against officials in Polk County, alleging that she was wrongfully terminated after she reported an affair between two other employees. The woman said she suffered from sexual harassment after she walked in on the pair having a sexual encounter in the courthouse.
The woman’s employment difficulties reportedly started in September of last year, when she walked in on the female judge and male bailiff engaging in sexual intercourse while at work. Documents show that the judge attempted to intimidate the victim into silence. The judge insinuated that she could have the victim fired if she reported any of the misdeeds she witnessed that day. The bailiff is accused of sexually harassing the woman after she was leaving a courthouse bathroom, according to the woman’s allegations. Not only did the man make inappropriate comments, but he also rubbed his body against the victim as she walked down the hallway.
After the incident, the woman reported the misdeeds. She and her boss, another judge at the facility, asked the chief judge to move their offices because of the discomfort involved in interactions with the bailiff and female judge. The chief judge refused that request, and he then fired the woman for allegedly falsifying her timesheets. Two days after she was fired, the woman filed the sexual harassment allegations, but an internal investigation by court officials showed that the claims were unfounded.
This victim joins at least one other woman in Polk County who has suffered from sexual harassment at work. The other victim with an ongoing case was reportedly coerced into sex with several police officers and a firefighter.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you have a variety of legal options. Do not suffer in silence. Instead, seek the assistance of a qualified employment attorney. These professionals can help you get your career – and your dignity – back after a traumatic work experience.
www.naplesnews.com, “Former Florida judicial assistant alleges harassment” Tamara Lush, Jul. 24, 2013