The city will pay an NYPD cop $110,000 as part of a settlement in a sexual harassment case. The police officer, Jazmia Inserillo, claimed that she was sexually harassed by her lieutenant, who massaged her shoulders, made lewd comments, and questioned her inappropriately about her personal life.

According to the lawsuit, the lieutenant invited Inserillo out to bars and parties. Once, he even invited her to his house, telling her that his wife was not at home. The suit claimed that the lieutenant “told (Inserillo) and other women in the command, ‘If you play the game, I’ll take care of you.’”

Inserillo rejected his advances and filed an official complaint about the harassment. Instead of taking action against the lieutenant, the department retaliated against her, sending her to a police psychiatrist for anxiety and for alcohol treatment. After she refused to go to rehab, she was suspended for 30 days. After filing a lawsuit, Inserillo was awarded $110,000; as part of the settlement agreement, the lieutenant who committed the harassment must pay $2,500.

Employers should take sexual harassment claims seriously

In this case, the police department failed to take Inserillo’s complaints of sexual harassment seriously. This is against the law: after an employee reports sexual harassment, the employer is required to conduct a swift, thorough, and impartial investigation. If it finds evidence that sexual harassment occurred, it must take appropriate action against the harasser, and take steps to make sure the harassment ends. If you made a sexual harassment claim and believe that your employer has not responded properly, contact the Akin Law Group as soon as possible. Our lawyers will help you better understand your rights and give you an idea of what you can do next.

Don’t let retaliation prevent you from taking action

Another problem that Inserillo had to deal with was retaliation. Instead of looking into her claim, the department placed the blame and responsibility for the harassment on her. If your employer reacts in such a way to your sexual harassment claim, you may feel intimidated and afraid to act. This may especially be the case if your employer is an entity that is responsible for enforcing the law, such as a police department.

However, retaliation is strictly prohibited by city, state, and federal laws. If your employer is found guilty of retaliation, it will be held financially liable for its actions in court. Retaliation can substantially increase the amount of damages a victim of sexual harassment is awarded. If you filed a sexual harassment claim at your workplace and faced retaliation because of it, contact Akin Law Group at 866.685.5163 for legal assistance.