Reporting instances of inappropriate behavior to a supervisor, boss, or human resources administrator should not be a difficult process. Employees are entitled to a safe, comfortable workplace. More often than not, when sexual harassment lawsuits are brought to employment attorneys, it is because a company has failed the basic standard of protecting its employees in their workplace environment. It is even more disturbing when the workplace in question is administered by the government.
Such was the case for two former employees of the City of Reno. They allege that the City failed to investigate their claims of sexual harassment in a timely manner. The suit names both the City and former city manager Andrew Clinger.
The plaintiffs are accusing Clinger of sexual misconduct and the city of hostile and retaliatory behavior. The plaintiffs say that Clinger touched them inappropriately.
Sexual Misconduct Turns into a Case of Retaliation
The complaint was not limited to Clinger, however, but also named Reno mayor Hillary Schieve, who plaintiffs allege knew of Clinger’s misconduct having been the victim of it herself. Despite this, the plaintiffs say that nothing was done despite making their situation known to higher-ups.
The City then put the two former employees on administrative leave after the harassment claims had been filed. Afterward, Clinger resigned his position amid the allegations. A third-party investigator was later called in to verify the woman’s claims. His findings substantiated much of what their original complaint made clear.
The Case Against the City of Reno
For those who have been the victim of sexual harassment, the first step in the process is reporting the misconduct to those in a position to do something about it. The situation must then be addressed in some way by any company or institution that employs workers. What a place of employment cannot do is use administrative processes to punish or intimidate their employees from reporting these incidents. That is precisely what the City of Reno did in this instance.
With the individual responsible for their complaints having resigned, and an independent investigator corroborating their account, it seems likely that the City of Reno will be forced to settle this case. Indeed, they made it easy for lawyers representing the plaintiffs.
Have You Been the Victim of Sexual Harassment in Your Workplace?
Nevada employees have a right to a safe workplace. They have a right to a workplace free of the unwanted sexual overtures of their fellow employees, immediate supervisors, and others in their place of employment.
If sexual harassment happens to you, you should first ask the perpetrator to stop. If the behavior continues, then taking it up with a supervisor or the human resources department is the next step. If the company retaliates against an individual or ignores the complaint, then the company is guilty of fostering a hostile work environment and is liable for damages.
If you have reported sexual harassment in your workplace and were either ignored or retaliated against, call HKM Employment Law of Nevada at 702.625.3893. We will ensure that you are compensated to the full extent of the law.