A jury ordered the Washington D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation to pay a plaintiff $3.5 million in damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit, according to The Washington Post. The jury agreed that plaintiff Carmen Jean-Baptise, 43, was sexually harassed by her supervisor then fired after she reported the inappropriate behavior. Jean-Baptise worked as a lifeguard for the city at the Takoma Aquatic Center.
The lawsuit alleges that Jean-Baptise’s supervisor, Rodney Weaver, began to harass her shortly after she began her job in April or May of 2006. Weaver repeatedly asked her on dates and she would decline, then he proceeded to comment on her genitalia and make other unwanted sexual advances. Initially, Jean-Baptise reported the sexual harassment to six supervisors at the pool, all of whom failed to stop the harassment. Jean-Baptise was terminated in October 2006 shortly after filing a written complaint.
“Carmen has waited six years to find justice, and she has finally received it and is looking forward to changes at the Department of Parks and Recreation so this doesn’t happen again,” her lawyer said in a released statement.
It is deeply troubling that supervisors for a municipal department turned a blind eye to this egregious sexual harassment, and then tried to terminate the victim to make the problem go away. Please visit our website today if you have been subject to sexual harassment or wrongful termination, and call our office at (310) 273-3180 for a free consultation.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys