Sexual harassment is a topic that many individuals worry talking about. In many cases, those who are victims of this kind of harassment in the workplace often do not tell anyone because of a fear of being fired or of being retaliated against. Sexual harassment is also sometimes hard to pinpoint because it’s not always blatant sexual touching or requests for sex. Sometimes it’s something as simple as ongoing sexually explicit emails or inappropriate jokes in the workplace.
While some may never tell anyone about the harassment they endured, others courageously make the leap in order to protect themselves. In a way, these victims may also give others who are being victimized the courage to speak out.
Recently, a settlement was reached in the case of a 27-year-old former personal secretary who worked for a Long Island highway superintendent. The former employee claimed that the 64-year-old former highway superintendent created a hostile work environment and sexually harassed her. He then fired her in October 2014 when he found out she was dating someone who worked in the highway department.
The Smithtown board voted to approve the settlement which would give the former personal secretary $75,000 as part of the sexual harassment lawsuit. The highway superintendent still denies the claims brought by his former secretary. The superintendent resigned from his post last month. During that same month he pleaded guilty to charges related to falsifying documents.
It may have been a big risk for the 27-year-old to step forward as a victim, but in doing so she was able to hold the former superintendent accountable for his actions.