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Intern alleges sexual harassment after a few hours on the job

It is unlawful for West Virginia employers to allow sexual misconduct to go on in the workplace and not handle the situation promptly. An out-of-state assistant intern alleges that she faced sexual harassment that even brought violence to where she lived. She is accusing the assistant police chief of sexual harassment and the city for not stopping the harassment she reported in a federal court.

The plaintiff began working for the city when she was 17 and later became a police department intern. She asserts that her hostile work environment started after she was only an intern for a few hours. She claims that the assistant police director at the time asked that she work for him and it was something that she came to regret.

She asserts that as soon as she set foot in his office the harassment began. The director allegedly try to rub his genitals on her arm and attempt to block her path to the door so that she could not leave. He purportedly also left the office and told the plaintiff that he had expected her to be undressed when he came back. After all of this alleged harassment, the plaintiff began to worry that the director would attack her.

The woman went to lunch and purportedly asked her supervisor if she would be working with the director in the afternoon and it was confirmed that she would be. Out of fear, the plaintiff did not go back to work and went to her mother's house instead. Because of the alleged hostile work environment, the woman was later assigned to work in another area away from the assistant police chief.

The plaintiff claims she heard that the assistant police chief would cause her harm if she filed a sexual harassment claim against him. The woman did file the complaint and asserts that not long after two masked men broke into her parent's home and fired a gun up at the ceiling. She is requesting her case be heard before a jury and is seeking legal costs and damages as well as damages against the assistant police chief personally. West Virginia employees who are the victims of similar sexual harassment and have documented appropriate proof may be able to seek financial redress and other relief for the wrongs committed against them in a civil court.

Source: madisonrecord.com, "Woman's lawsuit alleges pattern of sexual harassment in City of East St. Louis", Molly English-Bowers, Jan. 24, 2016

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