Two female officers have settled a sexual harassment suit with the city for $15,000 each.
The two female officers, one patrol and one in corrections, accused the Enumclaw Police Department of failing to address allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination and unequal pay.
Both women, in separate lawsuits, named a former officer, Sgt. Eric Sortland as one of their harassers.
Nona Zilbauer, the patrol officer claimed that Sortland and Sgt. Tyler Chillman subjected her to harassment and unfair treatment. She alleges that Sortland instructed other officers to detail her mistakes in order to get her severely reprimanded or fired. She also stated she was paid less than her male counterparts.
The corrections officer Amber Brunelle said she was harassed because of her race and sex. Sortland once told Brunelle he didn’t like having corrections officers that had children. She was also denied promotions and favorable work schedules along with verbal sexual harassment.
The officers said they reported the incidents of harassment to the supervisors and city officials but no action was taken. The sexual harassment attorneys working with the women initially asked for a $350,000 settlement. However in May the two women agreed to settle for $15,000 each.
Sexual harassment and discrimination shouldn’t be tolerated by any person and there are, fortunately, legal courses of action they can take. With the help of a Washington sexual harassment lawyer, the victims of a hostile work environment can make their employers take responsibility for their inaction.
Workplace abuses and hostility can be stopped and the victims can seek compensation for their distress with the expertise of a Washington sexual harassment attorney.