Monday, December 7, 2009

Concord Police Department Involved in another Sexual Harassment Case

In its fourth sexual harassment case in two years, the Concord Police Department is now facing off against its highest-ranking female officer, Lt. Robin Heinemann.

In her complaint, Lt. Heinemann alleged that male officers were mostly given free rein while she was passed over for promotions and disciplined for minor infractions.

In one instance, she was passed over for the position of Investigations Manager which she should have gotten because she was the most experienced lieutenant.

She was previously part of a group of eight women who filed a case in the late 1990s for sexual harassment and won a settlement of $1.25 million settlement.

Her attorney said that Lt. Heinemann tried to work within the system and had to tolerate the department’s discriminatory practices and she had no other option but to file the sexual harassment lawsuit.

Sexual harassment and sexual discrimination are the two most common employment discrimination practices committed against female employees. A recent survey revealed that 35 percent of all female employees alleged that they have experienced harassment and discrimination because of their gender.

Gender bias and sexual harassment is often rooted in ignorance. Female employees, if they are victims of harassment or discrimination should not be afraid to speak out against it. The first step in any situation where there is discrimination is to tell the offender to stop.

Should the harassment or discrimination persist despite telling the offender to stop, the female employee should report it to the employer or use the grievance system within the company if there is anything available.

If the employer or the company doesn’t act on the complaint of harassment or discrimination, the female employee may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or file a case directly in court.

Sexual harassment or gender discrimination should not be tolerated and at the same time, should be resolved promptly. A sexual harassment claim should be filed within 180 days although this may be extended depending on the employee’s state law.