Female Deputy reports Sexual Harassment by Colleague

Pennsylvania – Jessica Padilla, female deputy sheriff, filed an official sexual harassment report with her superiors regarding the sexual harassment she endured from Sheriff Mark Reese. Prior to completing a full investigation into the sexual harassment allegations, the Lancaster County board of commissioners requested Reese to resign.

An internal investigation began after a Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer sent a sexual harassment complaint, on behalf of Padilla, to the commissioners in mid-July. The sexual harassment complaint informed the commissioners that Reese tried to force Padilla to share a personal relationship beyond their professional relationship. Reese preferred to engage in sexual activities with Padilla since 2014. In addition to attempting to start a sexual relationship, the sexual harassment complaint says Padilla received disturbing emails that evolved to “progressively graphic and harassing” emails.

The commissioners confirmed that Reese confessed to sending Padilla inappropriate emails. According to the sexual harassment complaint the emails addressed Padilla attire, his views on her appearance, and his proclivity to watch her at work from his “special spot.” Another email described a late night fantasy Reese mentally shared with Padilla.

According to the sexual harassment complaint, other individuals in the workplace were aware of Reese’s sexual misconduct. Padilla claims she informed a sergeant and deputy about the sexual harassment, and they informed the Chief Deputy Sheriff so these unpleasant actions did not go without notice.

Currently, the sexual harassment investigation is still pending. Reese has been placed on paid leave during the investigation until further notice. The commissioners have called for Reese to resign considering his actions breached the county’s code of conduct and sexual harassment policy. Due to Reese’s employment status as an elected official, the commissioners do not have the authority to make Reese leave or terminate him.
The commissioners argued that his behavior was unacceptable and unprofessional. In the event that a commissioner engaged in the actions Reese admitted to, he or she would be terminated without discussion. According to the sexual harassment policy, “The County of Lancaster is committed to providing a work environment free from sexual harassment of any kind and, in particular, a work environment that does not tolerate sexual harassment.”
Although the investigation has allegedly produced adequate results to remove Reese from the workplace, the county must comply with the law and conduct a full investigation into the sexual harassment claims. In addition, the defense attorney representing Reese said his client hasn’t had a chance to respond to the investigations results. The defense attorney also said the county hadn’t reviewed the emails Padilla sent his client for details that may have triggered his client’s actions.

As the pending investigation comes to a close, the defense attorney stated that his client “expects to return to the position to which the voters of Lancaster County elected him” in 2011. Padilla is still a deputy sheriff. The plaintiff and commissioners expect the defendant to be impeached according to the legislature if he does not resign. The impeachment is expected to take place once the investigation concludes in favor of the plaintiff’s unspecified damages.

Sexual Harassment Lawyer

It is unlawful to subject an individual in the workplace to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a form of workplace discrimination that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, prohibits. The federal agency enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of color, race, religion, gender, sex, and national origin.

If you feel you have been the victim of workplace discrimination or sexual harassment in New York City, Miami, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to review your claims and prepare a solid case to recover the damages and justice you deserved.

About Derek Smith

Attorney Derek T. Smith is an experienced sexual harassment & discrimination law litigator who has particular experience in the areas of workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, civil rights litigation, employment law and civil litigation.

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