Taking action against harassment at work is a difficult task on its own, but it becomes especially complicated when the offenders are public officials. Those victimized by members of local law enforcement may feel that they have nowhere to turn to report their abuses.
However, one woman in Kansas chose to speak up against her alleged abusers. This blog covered the story in early March, when ex-employee Erin Olson first filed suit against the Shawnee County Sheriff's office for gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
Now, Olson will be able to plead her case in court. On May 31st, she was granted a trial date by U.S. Magistrate Kenneth Gale, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports. By federal order, the trial will take place in Kansas City, Kansas, on April 13, 2013, and will most likely take five days.
In the civil suit Olson's work discrimination lawyer filed in February, she alleges that she was a victim of employee discrimination in several forms. According to the source, Olson says that she was paid less because of her gender, which is illegal under the Equal Pay Act.
She is also seeking damages for the violation of her civil rights through regular sexual harassment including "remarks, humiliation and physical and mental intimidation," the media outlet states.
In her case, Olson notes that she had brought up these concerns with her superiors, and rather than being properly compensated or protected, was punished for doing so. After making her complaints, Olson claims that she was closely monitored and often disciplined without reason. She also says that she was ultimately fired for speaking up.
Missouri-based employees facing gender discrimination or sexual harassment may feel powerless to protect themselves. However, whatever legal or political power their employers may have, these individuals can reach out to a Kansas City employment attorney for help.