Salt Lake City, UT- Three female Salt Lake City police officers are preparing to file a civil suit against the city after their allegations of sexual harassment went unaddressed.
The three women, who have been identified as Officer Tiffany Commagere, Sgt. Robin Heiden and former Lt. Melody Gray, said they plan to sue the city now that the date to respond to their allegations has passed.
Gray alleges that Findlay once took a photo of her and Heiden in bikinis using her phone. Neither woman gave Findlay permission to take their photo. He then allegedly transferred the photo to his phone and showed to coworkers over the course of two years, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
The women allege that feared complaining about the harassment because Findlay was in a position of authority and said the state did not investigate their claims in a timely fashion, delaying an investigation until Findlay was able to retire last year.
The claim also alleges that Findlay told others that he was in a relationship with Heiden and when he pursued her his advances were rebuffed.
According the Tribune, Gray said that the investigation into the sexual harassment allegations were conducted by the police force instead of an outside agency as is customary when police officers are facing allegations of wrongdoing.
The Tribune also reports that in 2013, a Civilian Review Board found that Findlay was in violation of the department’s sexual harassment policies and was engaged in behavior unbecoming of a police officer.
Sexual harassment in police ranks happens with some frequency, but there are no hard statistics on how often this type of workplace discrimination occurs in law enforcement agencies. USAttorneys has reported on several incidents that have occurred in police agencies across the country since the beginning of 2015, some of which involved accusations against chiefs.
People who sexually harass their coworkers often don’t see their behavior as inappropriate or think the complainant is being overly sensitive. They have no idea the turmoil a victim faces when they have to go to work, and wonder if they are going to be the object of unwanted sexual comments, groping or advances. Sexual harassment is emotionally toxic to the victims and the workplace so it needs to be addresses swiftly and decisively.
With nearly half of working women facing sexual harassment in the workplace, employers have a duty to protect them and address any allegations. Many don’t as the sexual harassment attorneys know all too well. What’s more, employers often punish the victims instead of the harasser. In fact, retaliation is the primary reason sexual harassment in the workplace is underreported.
Victims of sexual harassment and/or retaliation are encouraged to contact a sexual harassment attorney and discuss their case. They will stand up for the victim’s rights and work to get them the compensation they deserve for their emotional distress. If need want a tenacious and dedicated sexual harassment attorney on your side allow USAttorneys to help you find one in their area.