Recent allegations of sexual harassment in Houston strike at the heart of the city’s academic community. According to ABC Houston KTRK, Former Texas Southern University (TSU) police chief Remon Green resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, effective March 1, 2017.
Remon Green’s appointment as TSU’s police chief was once lauded enthusiastically by Houston Style Magazine. With nearly two decades of experience and many professional qualifications, including post-graduate degrees, Green might seem an unlikely candidate to be embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal.
The alleged victim in this case is department employee Roberta Gibson. She works at TSU as a police coordinator, a position subordinate to the Chief of Police.
According to NBC Houston, an internal investigation performed over the course of three months concluded that Gibson has been the recipient of many abusive gestures over the course of seven years. Chief among these were frequent hugs that the victim was unable to refuse, according to the report. The report did not find anyone who could confirm Gibson’s claims of sexually overt comments being made.
This record of a continuing atmosphere of sexual misconduct and discrimination is often essential to a successful harassment complaint. NBC reports that Gibson, who still works at the police department, intends to withhold legal action on the condition that TSU takes immediate action to curb and prevent harassment in the workplace.
Gibson’s restraint in pursuing a case against both the college and Green is notable for another reason. She asserts that the erstwhile police chief called her into his office in order to show her images of his genitalia that he had captured on his personal cellphone. The court might consider this as an extreme example of harassment, another common component of sexual harassment cases in which the decision falls in the favor of the plaintiff.
Gibson claims she pursued several ways of improving her situation over the course of the seven years of abuse, such as applying to other jobs and returning to school in the hope of obtaining a degree. After the alleged incident with the illicit photographs, she took action with TSU directly.
Even though there is no current suit or letter of intent to sue, both Green and Gibson have retained legal counsel. Gibson has filed a report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that maintains oversight on workplace equality issues concerning gender, race and other protected status.
Police departments are far from the only organizations that face inappropriate behavior. If you feel threatened, or believe you are being treated differently or being threatened due to your gender while at work, there’s no need to wait for as long as Roberta Gibson did before you come forward with a complaint. Engage an attorney for advice on how to proceed. Immediate responses are advisable.
Another thing to take away from the events involving Gibson and Green is that it’s possible to address even long-standing hostile environments. Even if you believe the statute of limitations for your case has passed, you may still be able to seek remedy for damages caused to you. Contact a lawyer who handles sexual harassment in Houston to advise you.