Nashville circuit court received Friday a sexual harassment lawsuit against Tennessee Highway Patrol from Martha Sanders, a woman who conducts sexual harassment training for THP, and her attorney. This harassment lawsuit follows an investigation earlier this year into charges of sexual harassment against the Tennessee agency. The present lawsuit claims retaliation occurred after Sanders spoke of the sexual harassment she endured..
Another Tennessee employee issued the original sexual harassment complaint, a male employee who retired shortly thereafter. When questioned by Tennessee investigators, Sanders retold the two instances of harassment, including one instance in which she was put in an inappropriate headlock. Sanders reportedly was so upset by her Tennessee coworker’s sexually inappropriate comments and sexual advances that she vomited afterwards.
Sanders was reassigned after the investigation proved inconclusive. Her reassignment placed her among the very supervisors against whom she reported engaged in inappropriate sexual comments. Additionally, many of her training duties were taken from her and, she and her attorney claim, her new, less respectable duties are a form of retaliation. According to the Tennessee employment attorney now involved in the sexual harassment case, the very reason Sanders didn’t report the sexual harassment in the first place was that she was afraid of retaliation from her superiors.
This most recent charge of sexual harassment comes after other instances of sexually inappropriate conduct from Tennessee Highway Patrol, including a male Tennessee trooper fired in September for making unauthorized background checks on Tennessee women and the reassignment of another employee last year after an adult movie “actress” claimed he offered to exchange arrest for drug charges in return for oral sex.
It still amazes me even all these years practicing Tennessee employment law when I receive a call from a victim of sexual discrimination or harassment. I am amazed that any Tennessee worker, but especially our women, are treated as second class citizens or that Tennessee employers would allow a matter other than performance to inform their hiring or promotion decisions. It appalls me whenever I learn that any Tennessee supervisor, male or female, has abused the power of his or her position to sexually harass an employee.
If you have been sexually harassed by your Tennessee employer, you owe it to not only yourself but others who work with you and future employs to give HHP a call. Our Tennessee employment law attorneys have the experience and the resources to find justice for sexually harassed employees.