A female employee of The Salvation Army in Modesto has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company and a former corps officer for $1 million in damages. Kimberlea Rea claims that while working as a bookkeeper and human resources assistant she was repeatedly harassed for a period for 18 months by Capt. Michael Paugh, a former corps officer.
Rea claims in the lawsuit that Paugh spoke to her about his sex life, inappropriately touched her on multiple occasions, drove by her home unannounced and asked about her children’s sex lives, as well as commenting on her appearance and following her around at work. The lawsuit also alleges that Rea’s coworkers and supervisors knew about Paugh’s harassment and did nothing to stop it or report it in a timely fashion. Rea also claims that she was intimidated into not complaining about Paugh by her coworkers for fear of making them look bad.
According to the Merced Sun-Star, Paugh was demoted and reassigned in March 2013 after an investigation confirmed he was sexually harassing an employee who complained in mid-December 2012. The text was unclear whether this employee was Rea herself.
The lawsuit alleges Rea is suffering from humiliation and embarrassment, as well as migraines, stomachaches, and trouble eating and sleeping.
Sexual harassment is considered discrimination based upon an employee’s sex. To prove sexual harassment is occurring in a hostile environment, a pattern of behavior must be established as opposed to one, isolated incident, unless the incident is extremely severe. Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace can suffer severe emotional and physical trauma that can cause them to miss work or pay expensive medical bills.
If you have been harassed on the job, our Los Angeles labor law attorneys can help you determine liability. Contact our harassment attorneys today to set up a consultation.
Did You Know: Men, women, gays and lesbians are all protected by sexual harassment laws.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys