The pressure is on Mayor Bob Filner as even his former supporters are urging him to resign, after allegations of sexual harassment of women have surfaced. Three former supporters released details alleging Filner forced two women to kiss him, and grabbing the breasts of another staff member. Attorney Marco Gonzalez held a press conference saying that Filner’s behavior was so egregious that women called him “dirty old man.”
Filner issued a statement that he would not resign until he has an opportunity to respond and is given his due process. He says his behavior has been misinterpreted, but he has apologized to his staff for his admitted poor treatment of women. If the accusations are true, why did they go on for so long when so many people knew about it? This is certainly not the first time a man in power has been accused of sexually harassment women.
Why is such behavior still allowed in the workplace? What constitutes sexually harassment? What rights do women have in the workplace? What are the risks a woman faces in going public? Are the allegations against Filner more ok because of his age?
Nancy Bornn, employment law attorney in private practice in Playa del Rey; author of “Representing California Sexual Harassment Plaintiffs”