A sexual harassment case against the Fairfield County Auditor’s office has made its way to federal court.
The defendants include Fairfield County Auditor, Jon Slater Jr., auditor employee Noel Sodders and former supervisor Eric Coakley.
The lawsuit was filed by a former employee, Holly Littrell. According to her attorney Sharon Case-Adams, “This is one of the worst cases of sexual harassment I’ve seen.”
The lawsuit alleges that Coakley and Sodders made repeated sexual comments to Littrell. Coakley is accused of taking pictures of Littrell’s backside as she bent over, and threatened to send the photos the all the men in the department.
When Coakley and Littrell would leave the office to pick up lunch of run other errands, Coakley would drive through a park or the fair grounds and say there was time for the two to perform a sex act. Coakley would also unzip his pants and put notes in the opening asking Littrell to retrieve them.
The defendants do not admit to any wrongdoing.
Littrell told her supervisors about the repeated abuse but do nothing to stop it. The lawsuit alleges that the hostile behavior towards Littrell only got worse after she filed a formal complaint. She was then forced to retain a sexual harassment lawyer to end the abuse.
When a hostile work environment goes unaddressed, the employer is then vulnerable to a lawsuit which can cost them hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to settle. It’s in a company’s and their employee’s best interests stop harassment as soon as allegations surface.