My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Georgia
I was employed as a police officer for a government agency. From May until September I was flirted with on a constant basis from my training officer while under his supervision. It was never a problem until his wife became aware of his flirting(Seeing his texts to me) and threatened my life (September). Let me be clear I NEVER had a relationship with this person. I told him on a repeated basis I do not involve myself with married men. I called a friend which is a Union rep and asked her if she would call the LT and tell him to leave me alone which she did and he left me alone from there on out.
When I got back to work I was very uncomfortable and was feeling like I was in a hostile work environment. I did not want to be near or around this person for any reason. At that point I decided to go to my chain of command with the issue as it became a hostile work environment.(September)
The Chief launched an investigation and during the course of that found out we had went to a training session in July. During this training session my LT shot a weapon for state qualification. I also needed to get some hours for my state certification so asked if I could do the same.
Two weeks after I filed my informal sexual complaint with my supervisor about the harassment I was pulled back into the office in reference to "Misuse of government property" I promptly told my supervisor I had no idea I was misusing property as I watched my supervisor shoot and asked if I could do the same and he not only said yes but he was my safety during.
November 1 I was given a memo stating I was being terminated under probationary period for "Unprofessional personal conduct and misuse of government property". I immediately went to the EEOC and filed a complaint for sexual harassment, retaliation and retained a lawyer for the mediation.
Through the course of all of this I find out another officer had went to the chiefs about the same trainer trying to have a sexual relationship with his wife a year ago. A year ago it was swept under the table but as soon as I go to them with my complaint they go back to this officer and ask for him to write a statement. To add insult to injury I get fired and the person I accused of the harassment still has a job!
I am a week out from the mediation and I receive a certified letter from my lawyer stating he will not be able to represent me due to the complexity of my case. I need to find a lawyer to represent me through mediation and I really don't know what I even need to do for the mediation.
Here is what I do know;
I absolutely do not want to go back to this employer after the way I was treated. However I am finding it hard to find more work because of this termination. I was given 5 days to resign which I refused. Resigning is an admission of guilt and I had no relationship with this person and do not see how my behavior was unprofessional! The employer would have never known of the situation until I went to them so how can they say anything about my behavior. I have not seen or signed any type of paperwork saying you cannot have relationships with co worked or anything to do with fraternization. As far as I am concerned he was my trainer and I was his subordinate and he crossed the line immediately when he started flirting. I realize I never said anything but as a Law Enforcement officer I can handle my affairs for the most part and when it got out of hand I reported it. It's hard knowing you are on probation I just didnít want to get in any trouble with fear of being terminated. When asked by the chief why I did not report this sooner I told him when it became an issue I reported it to which I did not want to do in fear of getting in trouble. This is a tenured supervisor who are they going to believe. I by the way have text message prove of threats and texts of sexual nature which I showed my Chief during the investigation.
I have worked 15 years towards a federal law enforcement position and now my record is less than desirable for other law enforcement agencies. I need help with a direction to go with in mediation if I need to go alone and what my next steps should be. I have filed for unemployment which I am sure will be denied due to being fired.