A Female Police Officer of the WVCPD Shares her Reality with Sexual Harassment
Utah – Michelle Shepherd, a police officer of the West Valley City Police Department, recently filed notice of claim regarding the alleged sexual harassment hardships she had to bear from a female superior.
Shepherd asserts that the sexual harassment began shortly after she became employed with the WVC PD in 2008. Based on the notice of claim, she further explains that the sexual harassment consisted of repetitive requests to go on “dates,” or engage in activities outside of the work environment from Lt. Julie Jorgensen who was a sergeant at the time. During an interview with FOX 13 Michelle Shepherd stated, “There were numerous times she asked me to go out with her¬¬ – I told her no.”
Shepherd elaborates on her experience by revealing that prior to Lt. Jorgensen’s promotion to a supervising officer, she would appear at Shepherd’s calls. The accusations stated in the notice of claim hold Jorgensen responsible for “touching Michelle Shepherd inappropriately, and making sexual remarks towards her.” To add insult to injury, Shepherd explains the sexual harassment took place in front of others throughout the following five years. After Lt. Julie Jorgensen was promoted to Shepherd’s supervising officer, Shepherd expressed that she suffered “retaliatory disciplinary action.”
There was a time when Shepherd “missed a court date, received a citizen’s complaint for alleged rudeness during a call response, and failed to complete reports at the end of her shift.” Shepherd acknowledged that she believes she was “disciplined unfairly.” Shepherd said, “once I told her and she, I believe, understood the fact that I did not want to date her, she began writing me up.”
Shepherd’s Attorneys Address the Sexual Harassment Case
Michelle Shepherd’s sexual harassment attorneys states her client made a complaint to other superiors who failed to take any action to resolve her sexual harassment accusations or report them. September 2015, the sexual harassment lawyers spoke about being retained and addressing her client’s concerns and accusations to the West Valley City attorney according to the notice of claim. Documentation indicates Shepherd declined the “settlement offer,” but the chief of police “initiated an investigation.” Her sexual harassment lawyers received a letter from the chief of police informing her that Lt. Jorgensen have been withdrawn from Michelle Shepherd’s “chain of command” during the investigation.
The sexual harassment lawyers explains to FOX 13 that Chief Lee Russo stated that the investigation for her client’s accusations would finish in two weeks, and he would contact Michelle Shepherd following the closing of the investigation. According to the sexual harassment lawyers, Shepherd has yet to hear from Chief Lee Russo. the sexual harassment lawyer said, “To this day, he still hasn’t done that and that was six, seven, eight months ago. So to believe this has been take seriously, all the evidence would indicate otherwise.”
In addition to filing the notice of claim that primarily serves as an introduction to the lawsuit against “a government agency,” Shepherd has filed a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Lt. Julie Jorgensen has been encouraged by the police department not to release a statement regarding the accusations. The agency released the following statement:
“West Valley City is aware of a claim filed with the EEOC by a West Valley City Police Officer. The EEOC has just begun this examination. The claim stems from incidents alleged to have occurred more than six years ago. These matters were never brought to the city. Several months ago, West Valley City became aware of this matter during the course of a routine employee disciplinary action against the officer suggesting this sexual harassment. The City immediately conducted a full and thorough investigation and found no sexual harassment.”
Although it may have taken Michelle Shepherd some time to come forth, it doesn’t eliminate the superiors’ tardiness to handle her sexual harassment case after she made the effort to address her predicament. Presently, Michelle Shepherd is experiencing an internal affairs investigation. Information regarding this process is being held confidential according to Jarvis.
The Aftermath of Michelle Sexual Harassment Experience
Shepherd strongly feels that the WVC PD addressed her situation without concern or remorse for her experience. She does not believe the incident was taken seriously because of her sexual orientation and the incident was amongst two women as oppose to a male and female. Shepherd feels if it was a man to woman sexual harassment case then the superiors may have taken a different approach to remedy her situation. Regardless of the gender(s) involved, individuals who protect and serve deserve to be protected and served as well. In Michelle Shepherd’s case, protection failed her. Shepherd is currently seeking $500,000 in damages, as a result of her sexual harassment allegations, from West Valley City.
People like Michelle Shepherd voices are not being heard in the workplace after one finds the courage to actually speak on such a devastating subject. If your superiors will not listen to you, contact our New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. They will listen to you and provide you with the proper legal assistance. Our experienced sexual harassment attorneys are well equipped to handle the delicacy of your case. For more information on sexual harassment in a work environment, read our Employment Law Blog.
New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Attorneys
If you feel you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in New York, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, then you should immediately contact the New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at the employment law firm of DEREK T. SMITH LAW GROUP, PLLC. No one deserves a hostile work environment.
Call today to schedule a FREE sexual harassment legal advice Consultation in New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia with one of our top rated sexual harassment attorneys here at the Derek Smith Law Group you can reach us online or by calling 877-469-5297. Our New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia employment law attorneys handle a variety of cases involving sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and other employment-related claims. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Miami to serve you.
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