Former employee of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee files lawsuit for alleged sexual harassment
WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- A former employee of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee is suing for alleged sexual harassment in the workplace.
The woman (whose name CBS 58 decided not to reveal) was the assistant director of fundraising for Catholic schools in Milwaukee, and that only lasted two month as she was allegedly fired two days after going to human resources to report an uncomfortable incident.
According to the court documents filed Monday, on Friday July 9, 2021, the alleged victim's direct supervisor (whom CBS 58 also decided to not to name) "cornered (her) in her cubicle and blocked the exit from her cubicle. (He then) put his hand down his pants and appeared to touch himself in the presence of (the employee). (She) immediately turned her chair away from (him) at which point she heard (him) unbuckle his pants."
The six-page complaint states that the woman filing the lawsuit is a survivor of sexual assault and "feared for her safety," though it seems she managed to escape that particular incident last July.
On Monday of the following week (that July 12, 2021), she reported the sexual misconduct to the archdiocese' HR department. Two days later, she was fired.
"The Archdiocese of Milwaukee takes any such allegations very seriously and our Code of Ethical Standards for employees strictly forbids harassment in the workplace," said Communication Director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Sandra Peterson in a statement. "However, we can’t comment on the case since it is pending litigation."
CBS 58 also reached out to the St. Francis Police Department to see if a sexual harassment report was ever filed last July and they said they were not aware of any such incident filed on or in the days following the alleged incident.
The lawsuit makes it a point to reveal that the former employee was diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder; and according to the documents, her manager had been aware of her disability throughout her employment. Therefore, the lawsuit concludes that the archdiocese terminated her "for complaining about sexual harassment in the workplace" and not her inability to perform her work duties.
CBS 58 also requested a comment from the alleged victim's attorney, and as of Tuesday evening, we have yet to hear back.
A jury trial was requested, but for now, the archdiocese' office has 21 days to respond to the complaint.