Nine female officers took a stand against sexual harassment and gender discrimination in a recent lawsuit against the Philadelphia Police Department. According to Billy Penn, it roughly equals one suit every other month for the east coast station.

The court documents show that more than half of all employment-related settlements went to female officers – which is only 27% of the Philadelphia police force. Most of those settlements came from cases dealing with sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

What does this mean for New Mexico?

Pennsylvania isn’t the only state dealing with harassment among female police officers. States across the country are dealing with an uptick in sexual harassment in police stations, including New Mexico. However, local leaders are working diligently to reduce harassment for all employees, especially women.

It’s critical for female officers to know what constitutes harassment. In New Mexico, the law clearly states that offensive conduct includes, but not limited to:

  • Offensive jokes
  • Slurs
  • Epithets
  • Name-calling
  • Assaults
  • Threats
  • Intimidation
  • Put-downs
  • Offensive objects or pictures
  • Unwanted sexual advances or touching

Most women, especially in male-dominated industries, are afraid to speak out or report harassment incidents. But you don’t have to be.

If your partner makes unwanted sexual advances towards you, you have every right to report it. The same is true if you witness another officer being harassed by other co-workers, and you should not experience retaliation after filing a complaint on your or anyone else’s behalf.

No one deserves to be the victim of workplace harassment. Decide the best strategy for you and work with an attorney to ensure you’re creating a safer police force for everyone.