It goes without saying that workers in Washington, D.C., should not be subject to harassment that is sexual in nature, especially by a superior. Unfortunately, such incidents take place every day and can have a serious effect on a worker's rights and wellbeing. The worker may suffer emotionally, experiencing anything from fear to shame to embarrassment to degradation. For example, one former staff member of a U.S. Representative is seeking compensation after reportedly being sexually harassed.
Unfortunately, the staff member's lawsuit against U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold for sexual harassment has suffered a setback after the Office of Congressional Ethics dismissed the claim. However, the case is not over, as the House Ethics Committee is still reviewing the case.
The lawsuit was filed nine months ago. The staff member at issue has claimed she experienced hostile treatment and that the Representative told another employee that he had "wet dreams" and fantasized about her in a sexual manner. She no longer works for the Representative, and is seeking financial compensation and back pay.
The final outcome of this case has yet to be seen. However, sexual harassment in Washington, D.C., workplaces is an ongoing issue. Those who are sexually harassed may suffer from emotional trauma, and may even be in danger of wrongfully losing their job if they speak out. This is a situation that should never take place. Victims of sexual harassment deserve to have the situation resolved and to seek compensation through a lawsuit if necessary. Workers in Washington, D.C., who believe they have been sexually harassed in the workplace should explore what legal rights they have to remedy the situation.
Source: Roll Call, "Office of Congressional Ethics Dismisses Sexual Harassment Claims Against Farenthold," Hannah Hess, Sept. 28, 2015