Female-to-male sexual harassment cases are on the rise — and women are learning inappropriate workplace behavior is unacceptable. In a recent Texas case, Galveston County Deputy Constable James Gist, 51, sued the county and claimed ex-Constable Pam Matranga repeatedly sexually harassed him from May 2011 to October 2011. Gist was awarded $567,000 by a jury.
According to the court record, Matranga repeatedly asked Gist to touch her breasts and would pull her shirt over his head. She would pretend to give him a lap dance and frequently offered Gist oral sex at work. Other employees were apparently aware of Gist’s overt sexual behavior and off-color jokes.
“They rejected this whole notion that you get away with [sexual harassment] because you are a female,” said Gist’s attorney Anthony Griffin. The lawyer blamed Galveston County for not doing enough to stop Matranga’s behavior.
The Jury unanimously sided with Gist. Griffin further commented that “the jury would not absolve Matranga simply because of her gender.”
Gist tried to record the behavior, but Matranga caught him and allegedly destroyed the evidence. Gist said he was demoted from sergeant to deputy, and later forced to resign in 2011.
Matranga denied wrongdoing, stating, ““I never sexually harassed anyone. I would never intentionally hurt anyone.”
What to do if you have been harassed at work
Sexual harassment can happen to anyone, male or female, gay or straight, young or old. If you are a man facing harassment or discrimination in the workplace, do not hesitate to file a complaint against your harasser. Consult with a sexual harassment lawyer familiar with New York laws to learn more about your rights.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in New York City. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 for a free consultation.