After only eight months as mayor, Bob Filner has agreed to resign in the wake of multiple sexual harassment accusations.
So far, 18 women have come forward to publicly accuse Filner of sexual harassment, and a former aide filed a lawsuit against him and the city, seeking damages. The city has agreed to pay for some of Filner’s legal fees in exchange for his resignation. They will also cover any damages awarded in the lawsuit brought against him.
It is fortunate that Filner has finally agreed to resign. A person who cannot control or manage their own personal life should not be allowed to control and manage a city.
A California ruling suggests that an employee is obligated to assist their employer during the investigation of another employee’s discrimination claim.
John McGrory was investigated, but it was determined that he had not discriminated against another employee for being a lesbian. However, he was fired for violating the company’s sexual harassment policy and being uncooperative during the investigation process. He then sued Applied Signal Technology for wrongful termination, saying that his termination violated public policy. The court, however, did not agree.
If an investigation is happening in a workplace, employees should be respectful and cooperative. It is a privilege, not a right, to have a job. If in doubt, you should see the advice of an employment lawyer, first being certain the attorney has no conflict of interest.
While the rates of sexual harassment have fallen in recent years, it is still a pervasive problem, especially in the workplace.
Scandals such as the recent call for the resignation of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner remind us that the problem is not going away by itself, and that the harassment can hurt more than just the person who is being harassed. In the case of businesses, sexual harassment cases can divide teams, destroy trust, damage reputations, and potentially make the business lose money.
An accusation of sexual harassment, whether it is true or not, can be destructive. Either the allegations are true, and women are being treated in an abusive manner, or the allegations are false, and a dark shadow is cast over someone’s reputation.