The Jackson Parish Police Jury faces allegations in the Western Louisiana District Court for allowing alleged sexual harassment and fostering a gender-based hostile work environment, according to documents filed on March 8.
Plaintiff Vanessa Giambrone of Quitman, hired in 2018 as an operator, alleges that she endured daily verbal and physical sexual harassment from nine Jackson Parish police employees: Giambrone claims that the men made repeated lewd, derogatory and obscene comments and called her names. The plaintiff further alleges that no employee of the defendants in a supervisory position made an effort to stop the conduct or discipline the male employees but instead told to “deal with it the best way she could.”
After her formal complaints, Giambrone alleges that the harassment escalated in retaliation to the point where she requested medical leave in April 2019 for treatment of extreme stress levels and hypertension. She claims she was then terminated without any further process or discussion. The Jackson Parish Police Jury is accused of violating the Civil Rights Act and discrimination. She is requesting compensatory damages and a jury trial. Giambrone is represented by Downer, Jones, Marino & Wilhite of Shreveport.
When asked about the allegations, the Police Jury released the following statement.
“The Parish cannot comment in detail regarding ongoing litigation, but can state that Ms. Giambrone’s allegations were investigated and the Parish responded appropriately. Even though she did not report personally experiencing any offensive conduct, the anti-discrimination and retaliation policies in place were reinforced to all employees and ongoing training on these issues continued. The Parish takes seriously its commitment to maintaining a non-discriminatory workplace and will continue to do so.