Woman Suing Dallas County Health Director for Coercing Sex
According to the Dallas News, an employee has made sexual harassment claims against her Dallas County Health Department supervisor, Zachary Thompson.
The employee originally filed the complaint on December 5, 2017, regarding sexual advances which allegedly took place from 2013 to 2015. The employee was fired by the Health Department in January 2018, after she filed suit.
In an interview with Dallas News, the employee said Thompson’s advances began shortly after she received a promotion in 2013. Thompson and the employee were on a business trip to Washington, D.C. when he attempted to kiss her in her hotel room. She rejected his advances and Thompson left the room.
According to the lawsuit, Thompson made passive threats after returning from the business trip, such as, “You like your job, right?” and “Where do you think you’ll go where you can make as much money as you make here?” The lawsuit claims Thompson called the employee into his office when she worked after hours. He then sexually assaulted and coerced her into having sex with him.
The complaint further describes “several sexual encounters” that the employee participated in “out of fear of losing my job.” As a single parent, she could not afford the risk of being fired.
The employee claims the relationship lasted until 2015 when she resisted the sexual acts and avoided Thompson at work. In the following two years, she was written up by Thompson six times in reprisal.
After her seventh write-up, she knew something had to be done. “I had to somehow get that courage, regardless of the fallout, regardless of what would happen. I knew it was important at that time for my story to be heard,” she said. At that point, she went to the human resources department with her complaint.
The employee claims the HR department and the county mishandled the complaint, only taking action against Thompson’s behavior after she hired an attorney. The employee’s lawsuit against Thompson and the county seeks more than $1 million in damages.
Sexual harassment is rampant in the workplace across all industries. The Potts Law Firm represents victims of sexual harassment, and we help our clients hold their employers accountable.
Our attorneys are dedicated to ensuring fair treatment across all professions and at all employment levels. As advocates for labor fairness, our goal is to protect your rights against injustice in the workplace. If you believe you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment in your workplace, contact The Potts Law Firm today to discuss your rights and to schedule your free consultation.