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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Wrongful Termination from Federal Government, Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Wrongful Termination from Federal Givernment/Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

    They choose to believe another person, they had their reasons & terminated you. Move on. You should get unemployment...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Wrongful Termination from Federal Government, Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

    If I understand, your discipline has absolutely nothing to do with your allegations against your supervisor - those are entirely separate, were separately investigated and separately resolved. If your text messages or other evidence were not sufficient to convince others that sexual harassment or threats occurred, I'm sorry to hear that but you haven't demonstrated how that relates to the charge against you.

    The charge you have described as having been made against you is "Unprofessional personal conduct and misuse of government property". That apparently relates to your shooting at the training session, and perhaps your response to the initial investigation. You haven't made that clear. However, you apparently have had representation through your union and, up to now, representation by a lawyer. You apparently now need to find a lawyer who is more familiar with the mediation process; it sounds like it would be sensible for you to pursue that option.

    It might help if you were more clear about exactly what happened.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Wrongful Termination from Federal Government, Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

    Thanks for your response.

    During the course of my initial training I was tasked with going to the range to shoot my weapon on numerous occasions. On one of these occasions my shift LT, SGT and myself qualified for Federal Certification. Our establishment does not have its own training range so we have to use other departments. On this day we used the Sheriff Office range.

    Immediately after the other 2 and I qualified the training LT was qualifying with his weapon for State certification. You do not need to have or maintain State certification for Federal but I knew he needed to qualify for state for a part time job he took on at a city department. After I watched him qualify I asked if I could as well as I needed 4 hours to maintain my state certification. He told me not a problem as long as the people who run the range will run it. They said not a problem either and I qualified with the trainer as my safety.

    4 months down the road and 2 weeks after telling the chief of my sexual harassment complaint I was pulled back in the office in reference to this range. The training LT was being investigated for scheduling a range for his own personal agenda. He asked me if I knew I was not supposed to use my weapon for these things because it was misuse of government property. I told him I did not. I don't know how I would know I never signed anything and no one has ever told me. It was not like I signed out my weapon with the intention to qualify for state. We were at the training range already and authorized to use as much ammunition as we want and I just watched my training officer do it. Not only that but my shift supervisor and Sgt were there and did not say anything. I of course apologized and told the Chief if I would have known I would have never done it. It's too easy to go out to the range any other day because I used to work for that department and most departments encourage training and practice.

    As a new person it would be a stretch to know these things. I came from a Sheriff Office and we could use and do anything with our weapons. To me it was just more training. I have gone through all the policy and procedure manuals and there is nothing plainly written to say this was wrong. Everything is very vague to the use of government property that it not be for persona or financial gain. I asked several of my peers and they all told me there was no way I could have known unless the trainer told me. At that point I had been with the department for only a month.

    All this being said I just don't see how I am attached to a trainer and he steers me into the wrong direction and I get in trouble. I will take responsibility that I broke a rule unknowingly but the punishment doesn’t seem to fit. I was told this institution uses the Table of Penalties for these types of incidents and in the Table it states "unless you unknowingly broke a rule"

    Looking for another Lawyer soon and preparing for mediation. As I said I do not want my job back but I want my name clear. This can be detrimental to my career. I have never been terminated from a job and now I have.
    Regardless on if my name gets cleared I will still have to take Polygraphs and this will still be something that will pop up.

    I just need to be steered into the right direction....

    Thanking you

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