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Local Bronx union leader accused of sexual harassment

In response to a sexual harassment suit against her mass transit authority supervisor, a bus driver in the Bronx was given a temporary order of protection. A representative for the transportation union has stated the case is under investigation and that all employees would be undergoing sexual harassment training.

It all started when a female bus operator had an affair with a local union head leader who had been in charge of monitoring attacks on bus operators. Although the relationship lasted two years, when she ended it, the woman claimed that her supervisor wouldn't leave her alone and kept stalking her. This was corroborated by family members, who said the man continued to exhibit inappropriate behavior with the driver, repeatedly attempting to contact her, making her life a nightmare. Allegations included the union leader's efforts to terminate her employment unless she consented to having sex with her. Other charges include posting revealing photos of her online without her permission and subjecting her to abusive behavior at work.

The family court ordered the local union leader, who is a chair for the Bronx and Manhattan, to cease all interaction with the female bus driver unless it was work-related. The bus operator, who is now married and one-month pregnant, was not provided with legal advice from her union; however, attorneys for both sides agreed to a trial in the coming months. Legal advisors for the supervisor have stated an admission of guilt was not implicit in the temporary protection order.

The union leader had no comment as he left the courthouse. Officials have stated the case is undergoing examination and that charges against their leaders are taken seriously. The driver and her husband were somber as they left the proceedings.

The workplace should be a place of safety for all employees. It is disconcerting for an individual to feel he or she cannot be comfortable on the job, or to suffer inappropriate conduct from supervisors. Anyone who feels they have been victimized by sexual harassment should seek help regarding this incident so as to protect their rights under the law.

Source: nydailynews.com, "Transit union supervisor accused of sexually harassing bus operator" Denis Slattery and Ginger Adams Otis, Jan. 29, 2014

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