Black Diamond, WA– Two former male police officers in Black Diamond have accused female Police Chief, Jamey Kiblinger subjected them to sexual harassment, a hostile work environment and retaliation in a formal complaint.
One of the officers involved in the suit Scott Oak who was laid off said that Chief Kiblinger harassed him because of his sexual orientation. Oak is a gay man and in his lawsuit states that Kiblinger made racial and anti-gay slurs towards him once telling him to “Quit acting like a fag,” and telling him he looked like a fag.
Oak told KIRO-TV, “At one point she told me all’s I had to do was to sleep with a good-looking woman and I wouldn’t have to be gay anymore. I didn’t have a response.”
Joining Oak in the tort action, is Officer Eric Weinreich was fired in March for dishonesty, but he believes he was dismissed for criticizing Chief Kiblinger and complaining that she sexually harassed him.
Weinreich said that his troubles began when he was being harassed about the size of his penis at a Christmas party. He continued to be harassed about the size of his male member and on one occasion Chief Kibinger said to him, “told me in front of other people there to go into another room and take a picture of it to prove size.”
After that he openly criticized the Kiblinger and was later fired for dishonesty. He told KIRO-TV that he was critical of Kiblinger, but was “never untruthful or dishonest during my investigation.” Weinreich said there are no grounds for his dismissal, which was approved by Mayor Rebecca Olness.
Both men are asking from compensation for the harassment and their termination. Oak is seeking $1 million for racial and sexual discrimination and wrongful termination. Weinreich is asking from $2 million in compensation.
If the tort action is not settled to their satisfaction, Oak and Weinreich will file a formal lawsuit against the city and the chief.
According to KIRO-TV, Chief Kiblinger was reprimanded by Mayor Olness for using inappropriate language but that is not a serious enough offense to justify a demotion or a termination.
Attorneys representing the city have no commented on the two men’s complaints but plan to respond once they’ve reviewed the case.
Men represent a small number of sexual harassment complaints but that is changing. According to the EEOC, of the over 30,000 complaints of sexual discrimination they received in 2012, only approximately 13 percent were filed by men, but that number has steadily increased over the past decade.
It’s hard to say of men are being harassed more or if they feel embolden enough to report the harassment now than they did over a decade ago. The gender of the individual targeted by a sexual harassment is inconsequential to the fact that they shouldn’t, and don’t have to tolerate the hostile behavior. With the assistance of a sexual harassment attorney, men or women who are being harassed can end their abuse and seek compensation.