Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has been accused of gender discrimination and sexual harassment, according to Reuters. Forbes described the working environment under Napolitano as a “frat house,” with males being discriminated against and the subject of sexual jokes and humiliation. Former male employees have filed a discrimination lawsuit.
Napolitano is accused of discriminating against men when giving promotions, picking women for the most coveted positions and bypassing qualified males.
The lawsuit also alleges that chief of staff Suzanne Barr would force male employees to “play along with her sexually charged games” as well as numerous acts of “sexually offensive behavior” designed to “humiliate and intimidate male employees.”
It is good that these employees took a stand against this demeaning behavior. Male sexual harassment victims are often afraid to come forward, either out of humiliation or belief that the allegations will be shrugged off. This conduct and behavior is simply unacceptable in the workplace, regardless of the gender of the victims.
Please visit our website for more information on discrimination and sexual harassment. If you have been subject to this type of behavior, please call our office at (310) 273-3180.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys.