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Pastor accused of sexual harassment of contractor

Sexual harassment can occur at any workplace in California and can also come in many different forms. Those who are subjected to this form of treatment might be intimidated or not even realize that the behavior they are facing is against the law. When harassment at work takes place, those who are victimized must make certain to protect themselves and stand up for their rights. Sometimes, the only way they can do this is to pursue a legal case.

A lawsuit was filed against a Roman Catholic Diocese in California due to allegations that a pastor committed sexual harassment and then retaliated against the person who complained about the treatment. According to the filing, the pastor allegedly sent sexually explicit materials to a pool maintenance worker who was working as a contractor. When the worker reported this, his contract was terminated. The image that was sent is said to be naked genitals. When the contractor asked the pastor why he was sending him those images since he was supposed to be celibate, the pastor replied that celibate meant that he was not married. The pastor was put on administrative leave as a result of this incident and the ongoing investigation.

Many might be under the impression that there is nothing that can be done about an incident or ongoing acts of sexual harassment. Some do not know that the simple act of showing images that are offensive is the same as touching someone inappropriately or making unwanted sexual advances. If this accompanies a dismissal from employment when the advances are complained about or rebuffed, it adds to the reasons why the person can show he or she was a victim of harassment. A person who was treated in such a manner can seek compensation for the lost wages and distress they were put through.

In this case, a contractor was sent explicit photographs by a pastor. After complaining about it, he was dismissed. He filed a lawsuit as a result. People who have dealt with similar issues at work should make sure their rights are protected. Working with an attorney may help employees who are victims of sexual harassment understand their rights and options.

Source: recordnet.com, “Stockton Diocese hit with sexual harassment lawsuit,” Jason Anderson, Aug. 12, 2016


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