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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Sacramento principal wants staff reassigned after complaint

Sexual harassment on the job is never acceptable, but sometimes it takes a lot of bravery for someone to report it. People who are victims of sexual harassment may worry about the impact that coming forward can have not only on themselves but on their coworkers. A school principal in Sacramento, California, is now catching some heat for his actions against a woman who filed a complaint and that woman's direct supervisor.

An employee of an after-school program reported that the principal often remarked about her appearance and offered to take her on a vacation. According to the woman, the principal said that his friends could help her financially because she was attractive.

The employee reported the principal's comments to her supervisor. The supervisor told the principal that his comments were making the employee feel uncomfortable. This put an end to the comments, but only temporarily. When the harassment began again, the employee filed a formal complaint. The district investigated and sent a letter to her, admitting that the principal's comments were inappropriate and that appropriate action had been taken.

Shortly afterward, the principal sent a letter to the city recreation manager requesting that the employee and her supervisor be reassigned to another school site. The principal said that if his request was not accommodated, the elementary school's ability to continue its relationship with the after-school program could be impacted. The employee was not reassigned, but she was not given any more duties to perform for the district.

Workplace sexual harassment is unlawful. Retaliating against an employee for reporting her own harassment or the harassment of another is also unlawful. People who have suffered these adverse employment actions can seek the counsel of an employment attorney to learn their options.

Source: NEWS10, "Principal requests staff reassignment after harassment allegations," Kristen Drew, Sept. 13, 2012

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