Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) is the latest politician to be hit with a sexual harassment suit from a former aide, who claims he made inappropriate sexual comments towards her.
Lauren Greene, who worked as the representative’s communications director filed her lawsuit last week claiming that Farenthold and his chief of staff created a hostile work environment, according to the Huffington Post.
In her suit, Greene alleges that Farenthold’s chief executive assistant told her the pol has “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her. A few weeks after that awkward conversation, Greene was promoted to communications director and the inappropriate comments continued. She alleges in her suit that Farenthold made comments and inquiries with the intention of gauging whether she wanted to have a sexual relationship with him, the Huffington Post reported.
According to the lawsuit, via HuffPo: “On one specific occasion, Farenthold told Greene that she had something on her skirt and that he hoped his comment wouldn’t be taken for sexual harassment. A reasonable person would infer that Farenthold was joking that she had semen on her skirt.”
Greene’s suit also alleges that Farenthold’s chief of staff Bob Haueter ridiculed her when she asked for assistance with a meeting with media outlets. She alleges that he repeatedly took the opportunity to embarrass her in staff meetings.
Greene went to Farenthold to discuss Hauter’s treatment, he encouraged her to speak up for herself, but a short time later, Farenthold fired her. The lawsuit alleges she was fired for complaining about a hostile work environment.
Farenthold spokesman Kurt Bardella declined to discuss the pending lawsuit. In the statement Bardella said, “It goes without saying that both the Congressman and the members of his staff who are included in this complaint have a very different view of the allegations than Ms. Greene.” He added that Farenthold’s office “did not and does not discriminate based on sex or any other unlawful factor.”
It can be very difficult for victims of sexual harassment to come forward and report the incidents to their employer. Not only do the victims feel humiliated and embarrassed, but they often fear their employers will punish them instead. This is called retaliation and goes hand in hand with sexual harassment.
A common tactic of an employer is to dismiss the allegations of the sexual harassment victim and hope the problem will go away. But as a sexual harassment attorney knows all too well, harassment hardly ever just goes away on its own and often escalates. Employers have a legal obligation to investigation any sexual harassment allegations and must punish the offending employee.
Anyone who is subjected to repeated harassment often suffers emotional distress and over the long term, this can take on their physical and emotional well-being. Employees subjected to repeated sexual harassment should speak with a sexual harassment attorney to determine if they are eligible for compensation. They will guide a victim through the process and stand by them through all stages of their case.