The workplace is supposed to be safe, secure and free of bullying. However, in too many situations, it is not. Many people understand that sexual and racial harassment along with retaliation often occurs to employees on the job. Sadly, but not surprisingly, it continues.
In the past four years, though, victims have become more strident in standing up for themselves as the #MeToo movement continues to gain momentum. Among the more recent and notable cases in Delaware involves a former female police sergeant who alleges that during her 16-year career with the Delaware State Police, she was subjected to a hostile work environment. During her years of employment, Oldham faced sexual harassment and physical assault.
Violation of her civil rights
From 2002 through 2018, Nicole Oldham worked for the Delaware State Police. In a federal lawsuit she filed on June 1, Oldham contends that her employer violated her civil rights.
The harassment, she alleges, began early in her career. For example, upon returning from vacation, Oldham discovered flat tires on her vehicle and lubricant placed on the steering wheel and door handles. In addition, someone placed disparaging pictures and stickers on her mailbox.
Another colleague spread rumors that she was having sex with male coworkers while on duty. In one incident, a superior put his hands on her chest and pushed her out of the office.
Years of harassment took their toll on Oldham. In early 2018, her doctor ordered that she take medical leave for depression and stress. By the end of the year, her employer terminated her.
Victims of employment harassment often fear repercussions if they report incidents of sexual or racial harassment. The times are ripe, though, for victims to stand up, disclose what happened to them and seek retribution from tormentors – their employers.