Readers of our California employment law blog may be interested to learn that a former aid recently filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the mayor of San Diego. Despite taking a pay cut, the former aide was enthusiastic at the prospect to work for the mayor. During Bob Filner's mayoral campaign, he pledged to treat his employees with respect and head a progressive administration.
Not long after she started her job as the mayor's director of communications, she claims she was subjected to unwanted sexual advances. The former aid alleges that the mayor continually made inappropriate sexual comments to her. During the announcement of the lawsuit, she said that his conduct made her feel "ashamed, frightened and violated." The former aid also said that she was not the only victim of the mayor's sexual harassment. According to her, the mayor created an "intimidating and hostile" work environment for female staff members.
In addition to this lawsuit, the mayor is in the middle of a big sexual harassment scandal. Three former supporters have accused him of sexually harassing both supporters and his staff members. Mayor Filner has issued a statement denying all allegations. The statement comes after he previously released a video apologizing for his inappropriate behavior.
As the stories concerning the mayor continue to unfold, it is important for Los Angeles workers to be vigilant of their right to a discrimination-free work environment. Employee laws are in place to protect victims of illegal discrimination, including sexual harassment. No worker should have to endure the stress and pain caused by employment discrimination. A civil lawsuit is a way in which to hold parties responsible for their discriminatory practices.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Ex-aide files sexual harassment suit against San Diego mayor Filner," Tony Perry, July 22, 2013