The woman at the center of an ongoing sexual harassment scandal that rocked the Lakeland, Florida, police department has finally come forward. The woman, age 37, did not speak at the public appearance; instead, her attorney spoke on her behalf. Her lawyer said this case of sexual harassment is one of the most egregious violations he has seen during his 30-year law career.
The woman’s attorney alleges that she was forced to work in a hostile environment replete with innuendoes, propositions, advances, and even sexual assault and battery. She is prepared to file a formal suit through the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The suit is also supported by the Florida Commission on Human Rights.
Official reports show that the woman had several consensual sexual relationships with coworkers at the Lakeland department. After a while, those relationships became abusive. The woman reportedly told investigators that she is an incest survivor; as a result, she has a difficult time saying “no” to unwelcome sexual advances. The woman was not only vulnerable because of her life experience, but she also trusted the sworn officers with whom she was consorting.
A formal suit has not yet been filed. The woman and her attorney say they would be open to the idea of a financial settlement, but they are committed to fighting the department for the good of future employees. The scandal has only bolstered support for reform efforts in the area. The Lakeland Police Department is known for its questionable tactics, including bra shaking during traffic stops and sex on the job. Residents in the area are calling for the sheriff to intervene in the police department’s poor operations.
Scores of American workers are victims of sexual harassment each year. These victims do not deserve to be abused at work. If you feel that you have been the subject of sexual harassment or abuse on the job, consider seeking the help of a qualified employment attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your rights, allowing you to get the justice you deserve for your trouble.
www.wtsp.com, “Susan Eberle, woman at center of Lakeland Police sex scandal, comes forward” Eric Glasser, Jul. 03, 2013