CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE SANCTION FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Honorable Hassan El – Amin has been sanctioned after his clerk accused him of sexual harassment. Court clerk Denise Lowe-Williams has brought charges against her former boss after years of sexual harassment and discrimination.
The Hon. Hassan El- Amin committed several acts of sexual harassment, such as taking pictures of Denise, despite her objections. When Denise asked what he planned to do with the pictures, the Hon. El – Amin replied that he planned to make a calendar. Hon. El- Amin also made numerous rude comments, including comments indicating that he was aroused by a skirt that she had worn and commenting on how her behind looked in a dress.
The Hon. El- Amin was determined to make his point, even using evidence from a case to make sexually charged innuendos aimed at Denise. She recalled a time when the Hon. El – Amin presided over a sexual abuse case, calling her into his office for the purpose of showing her the more suggestive pictures from the case.
Eventually, Denise took a stand, hired an attorney and filed a complaint. Unfortunately, as with most harassers, his conduct got worse. Denise was told she wasn’t giving the judge enough attention and the rude comments continued.
After filing the complaint, the Attorney General’s Office of Maryland notified Denise of the remedial actions taken to address and prevent such harassing conduct. The case sent shockwaves through the 7th Judicial Circuit, prompting all its judge’s to take additional sexual harassment training. The Hon. El – Amin still works in the 7th Judicial Circuit but Denise has been moved to a different division. As a result of her ordeal, Denise is seeking therapy.
The Hon. El – Amin’s actions were clearly a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VII prohibition on sexual harassment in the workplace. Title VII makes it clear that a frequent and severe pattern of conduct which creates a hostile and offensive work environment is a violation of the Act. Creating a hostile workplace doesn’t mean a harasser always has to explicitly state his intentions, the law allows for quid pro quo harassment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs where a person of authority hints that satisfaction of sexual demands will prevent an adverse employment action.
Here, the Hon. El – Amin’s lewd comments, specifically indicating he was aroused by her skirt and how her behind looked in a dress, created an offensive workplace. By taking pictures of Denise, over her objections, the Hon. El – Amin has created a hostile workplace, imposing his will by placing his sexual fantasies over the safety and autonomy of his clerk. Further, stating that she didn’t show him enough attention can be seen as quid pro quo harassment, hinting that allowing him to take pictures of her and giving him more attention would prevent the adverse employment action of being fired. For years, Denise felt that she had to live with the ongoing harassment because of her fear of losing her job, establishing a frequent and severe pattern of conduct. Under title VII, it is clear that the Hon. El – Amin has committed sexual harassment in the workplace.
Our talented attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC, have years of experience dealing with workplace sexual harassment. While not all cases are this explicit, the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC, attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure you are protected from unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. If you feel as though you have been sexually harassed at work, please give us a call, toll-free, at 877-469-5297 for a free consultation about your possible claim.