New Haven, CT- A lawsuit filed earlier this month, alleges that New Haven Mayor, Joseph Maturo Jr., subjected a Town Hall secretary to inappropriate behavior, once exposing himself in her office and repeatedly making comments about her breasts.
In the lawsuit filed on July 14th, the victim alleges Maturo subjected her to a “hostile work environment based on her sex” for years, even up to the day when she took a leave of absence, the New Haven Register reported.
The lawsuit states that in October of last year, Maturo entered the woman’s office as she was bent over, filing some paperwork, to which he commented “while you are down there.” When she turned around, Maturo had allegedly taken his penis out of his pants and it was near the woman’s face, according to the Register.
The victim also alleges that Maturo made repeated comments about her breasts, once asking her “How much do those things weigh?” He also allegedly groped her on other occasions.
In her suit, the Town Hall employee alleges she complained about Mayor Maturo’s behavior to the police chief, but Maturo didn’t correct his behavior and the harassment continued which she said made “working conditions intolerable” and she suffered emotional distress as a result.
The woman named in the suit said the harassment continued until May of this year when she took a leave of absence to care for her daughter who was injured in a car accident. She alleges that they day her leave started, Maturo made comments about her breasts.
The city received the complaint on July 28th and has thirty days to respond to the suit.
In a statement issued last week, Maturo called the allegations “unmerited and false,” and said the employee in question was facing termination, according to the Register. He characterized the suit as “antagonistic litigation.”
Those are accusations often hurled at employees who accuse their bosses or coworkers of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment victims who decide to take civil action against their harasser are vindictive employees who are poor performers. Characterizing a complainant as a disgruntled employee who was going to be fired for their performance casts doubt on the allegations, and places a higher burden of proof on the victim and their sexual harassment attorney.
Sexual harassment is typically one person’s word against another’s. There are instances when another employee witnesses and corroborate the victim’s allegations. In these cases, it is much easier to prove that the sexual harassment took place. But if there are no witnesses it may be more difficult to prove the harassment occurred.
Proving sexual harassment in the absence of witnesses can be difficult, but it’s not impossible with the right legal representation. Since they specialize in these types of a workplace discrimination cases, a sexual harassment attorney is capable of conducting a thorough investigation and building an effective civil case. They have the skills necessary to assure their clients receive a just settlement for their emotional distress and are compensated for their loss of wages.