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State Settles Sexual Harassment Case with Cypress Police Department

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)  defines sexual harassment as unwanted sexual advances, or visual, verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature. This includes same-sex harassment, offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors, or retaliating after receiving a negative response to sexual advances.

On June 17, 2019 the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)  announced the $150,000 settlement of a police officer’s sexual harassment case against the City of Cypress Police Department (Police Department).

The complainant, a male police officer, alleged that his male sergeant repeatedly stated, “I love you,” made sexually charged intimations, and forcefully hugged him repeatedly throughout an 18-month period.  The complainant also alleged he suffered retaliatory action shortly after filing his complaint with the Police Department’s human resources division.

As DFEH Director Kevin Kish commented, “Unlawful sexual harassment does not have to be motivated by sexual desire.  Sexual harassment may involve harassment of a person of the same gender as the harasser, regardless of either person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

In addition to the $150,000 monetary settlement, the sergeant will receive anti-harassment training.

Employers should always proceed with care when responding to an employee’s sexual harassment complaints. In addition to sexual harassment prevention training and well-worded anti-harassment policy, employers should ensure managers and workers alike are properly educated on various forms of unlawful harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

We provide live on-site anti-harassment seminars for all employees for a flat fee.

Contact for more information and to schedule your seminar.

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For further information, please contact Tim BowlesCindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

July 3, 2019