History is rife with incidences of discrimination and persecution against women. And while it is now the year 2011, women are still often subject to sexual harassment in the workplace and gender discrimination that can lead to a hostile work environment.

According to a recent news report, a former Oakland Raiders cheerleader has filed a lawsuit in Sacramento for ostracism and gender-based harassment while working as a police officer for the city of Vacaville, California.

A number of allegations surfaced in the lawsuit; among them, the reported statement made by a superior indicating that the former Raiderette should not attempt to exercise in the department and gym because her appearance would draw unwanted attention.

The woman also claims that, on one occasion, a police sergeant requested a show of hands from officers who harbored a desire to see her in the nude. She purportedly suffered similar instances of harassment on a regular basis, the lawsuit alleged.

The woman now seeks $1.5 million from the city of Vacaville, the police chief, a retired police lieutenant and 25 other individuals in the sexual harassment suit.

Reportedly, following a need for modified duty in 2007 (as a result of purportedly deliberate injuries sustained during a tactics training class), the woman denied a request for medical retirement and continued to suffer through a hostile work environment and constant sexual harassment in the workplace.

The woman also claims that she was retaliated against after she complained about the discrimination and sexual harassment when the County District Attorney’s Office filed criminal charges against her for insurance fraud related to a medical claim.

The woman’s legal counsel filed her lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Sacramento mid-August. It will be interesting to see how this case evolves.

No one should be subjected to discrimination based on sex, age, or otherwise. Individuals who feel they’ve been victim to a hostile work environment because of discrimination or sexual harassment may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering they’ve endured.

Source: Times-herald, “Ex-Raiderette sues Vacaville–claims she was harassed as a cop,” Ryan Chalk, Aug 19, 2011


Desperate Housewives star Nicolette Sheridan has filed a claim of wrongful termination against the show’s producer and the studio, in the Los Angeles, California Superior Court. She has also claimed that she was battered by director Marc Cherry, and that her contract had been breached. Sheridan further alleges that discrimination took place because she was a woman and she criticized the script at times.

The charge of battery has not been denied outright by the studio, although they claim it was only a “light tap”. This incident occurred during a disagreement about the script when Cherry, who is the show’s creator and script writer, allegedly delivered a blow to her head. She states that the blow was severe and caused her head to jerk. She had initially claimed emotional distress but dropped these charges in December.

Sheridan reported the incident to the studio management. They conducted an internal investigation. Cherry claimed it nothing more than a verbal disagreement. Nevertheless, the studio dismissed the incident as a tap to the side of her head and took no further action.

Four months after the incident, Sheridan was informed that her character was being written out of the show and that her contract was being terminated. It is from this that her wrongful termination claims arise. If it can be shown that this was indeed a retaliatory discharge then her lawsuit may be successful.

In any incident where a person has grounds to feel that they have been wrongfully dismissed, where there is a case for discrimination or sexual harassment they may wish to consult a lawyer. In California, there are law firms which specialize in sexual harassment and discrimination. They may be able to offer advice and assistance to those who are suffering discriminatory and hostile treatment in the workplace.

Source: The Daily Mail, “‘Sacked for being a woman’: Nicollette Sheridan files new lawsuit papers against Desperate Housewives director Marc Cherry,” Mike Larkin, 15 July 2011