Michigan Judge Suspended Over Sexual Harassment Allegations
A Chief Judge has suspended another Michigan judge after sexual harassment allegations surfaced. The decision also barred him from the court’s property but can make decisions in some pending cases. The suspension order says Newaygo County is investigating the claim, yet the judge denies the sexual harassment allegations.
About Sexual Harassment
Federal law prohibits sexual harassment through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This applies to employers that have 15 or more employees. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination that explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Sexual harassment comes in many forms. It doesn’t have to be physically touching. In fact, it can be any number of unwelcome sexual advances. These include indirect or direct threats for sexual activity, sexist jokes, displaying sexually illicit materials or unwanted touch.
Judge Sexual Harassment
The Newaygo County Chief Judge received reports that a fellow judge had been perpetrating sexual harassment. While the county investigates, the judge is barred from court property and relieved of his docket and work hours until further notice. He also had to surrender his keys, access cards, and other county property. The Chief Judge felt the extensive measures are necessary since the initial interviews of county staff showed that the well-being of court staff needed protection. There was no further information about the nature of the sexual harassment allegations.
If you have experienced sexual harassment in any form in the workplace, you should contact a qualified employment attorney. You should do this right away since time is of the essence. If the harassment has not stopped after making a formal complaint with your employer, consulting a harassment lawyer is your best option. Your attorney will be able to provide further guidance, help you file a claim with the EEOC, and help you build a case that will put an end to what you have experienced.