Imagine that you’re working a very intense job where concentration is key; what would you do if your day was being disrupted by constant sexual harassment? You could chose to head to court and to file a claim against the company you worked for. One woman has decided to leave her job as a firefighter, because she claims that she was sexually harassed by male colleagues.
The July 31 report states that the woman has filed claims against the City of Petaluma, California. Sources have stated that the woman did have to put up with a lot on the job; she was the first female firefighter to join the department in over 30 years. A source reported that although some steps were made to make the shared sleeping space appropriate to share with a woman, she said she was uncomfortable because the men could see over changing curtains and commented on her body while she changed. That harassment allegedly took place multiple times.
The claims made need to be investigated in this case. If the woman goes to trial, then her legal team has to prove that she reported the harassment and that her supervisors did nothing to stop it. Then, information about the work environment would have to prove that it was actually hostile and that supervisors either tolerated that hostility or encouraged it.
A letter from the department dealing with the case has claimed that no post complaints or formal complaints had been made by any fire department employee. However, a source has reported that the woman’s direct supervisor and the fire chief were aware of the harassment but did nothing to stop it.
Source: Petaluma 360, “Sexual harassment suit looms for city” Emily Charrier, Jul. 31, 2014