Certain employment cultures place an outsized value on refusing to report misconduct by one’s colleagues to higher command or upper supervisors. Those that do report may be at extreme risk of becoming targets within these insular cultures. Law enforcement can be one of those workplaces. An officer who reports his/her fellow officers risks being tarred as a “rat.” This is especially problematic for female officers, as many of these police departments are also male-dominated workplaces prone to sexual harassment. If you’ve suffered sexual harassment in your police job, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced New Jersey sexual harassment lawyer and find out what steps you can take.
A sexual harassment case from Hudson County allegedly involved a distinct example of this kind of workplace in action. The plaintiff, S.M., was a female officer with the Emergency Services Unit (ESU) of a local police department.
The harassment allegedly began when a lieutenant began stating that the officer’s direct supervisor was her “boyfriend.” According to the complaint, after S.M.’s protestations, the lieutenant’s harassment only got worse. Other officers told S.M.that the lieutenant had also made comments to the supervisor, asserting that the lieutenant “hoped” S.M. was providing “real good” sexual favors.