Sexual harassment at work is illegal, as the town of Alsip, IL found out the hard way. It recently settled a lawsuit, brought by former Treasurer Elizabeth Gonzalez, that accused Mayor Patrick Kitching of making unwanted sexual advances toward her. As the Chicago Tribune reports:
Kitching also left “numerous unsolicited cards” on Gonzalez’ desk that contained “suggestive messages regarding the mayor’s sexual interest” in her, the lawsuit states.
One of the cards had the phrase “I’ll never tire of playing with fire…” on the front. Inside, it read “… as long as that fire is you,” the Tribune previously reported.
Another card said “I think of you first thing in the morning and last thing at night” on the front, and the inside says, “The rest of the day I spend thinking about us,” the Tribune previously reported.
One of the cards is signed, “xoxoxoxoxoxo missed you so much, Love ya, me.”
Gonzalez’s lawyer, Dana Kurtz, previously said the cards were “inappropriate for the workplace.”
“When I read them, I was shocked,” Kurtz told the Tribune. “How would you like your boss to send you cards like that?”
Ms. Gonzalez alleged that after she rejected his sexual advances, Mayor Kitching fired her. Without admitting liability, the City settled with Ms. Gonzalez for $120,000.
Read more from the Chicago Tribune
If you’re a Michigan or Ohio employee, Federal and State laws protect you from sex discrimination in employment. If you’re being harassed at work, we can help.