In a sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation complaint filed with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Francine Godoy accuses Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar of sexual harassment. Ms. Godoy, former deputy chief of staff, stated in her complaint that she was “subjected to sexual harassment [quid pro quo and hostile work environment] and retaliated against when I refused advances.” Her complaint alleges that she was harassed and retaliated against for refusing to engage in sex with Councilman Huizar. Godoy further alleges that she was subjected to “impermissible, non-job-related questions,” “a work environment [not] free of discrimination,” termination and demotion and even a “sabotaged ability to run for office.”
The filing alleges that the most recent incident of discrimination took place “on or before” April 21 at City Hall room 465 — Huizar’s office.
Quid pro quo is a Latin term meaning “something for something,” and refers in this context to the offer of a promotion or other benefits, or the threat of termination or other detriments, in exchange for sexual favors. Harassers in quid pro quo cases are usually supervisors.
Hostile work environment claims involve an employee who is subjected to severe or persistent sexual behavior in the workplace. This kind of behavior includes sexual or sexist comments, unwelcome touching, sexual jokes, propositions, lewd remarks or insults and other inappropriate workplace conduct.
The DFEH complaint asks for the ability to sue the city. Ms. Godoy will have one year to file a lawsuit against the city and Councilman Huizar.