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LA councilman accused of sexual harassment, retaliation

The former deputy chief of staff for Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar has filed a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging workplace discrimination and sexual harassment against the councilman. The 33-year-old woman, who worked for Huizar from 2006 until April of this year, states in the complaint that she experienced gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation because she refused to have sex with the councilman.

The woman also alleges that she was denied a promotion, and forced to transfer to the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. She says that her ability to run for public office, which she had planned to do, was sabotaged.

Huizar, through a spokesman, has denied the allegations and says that he will cooperate with the city as it investigates the complaints. The complainant's lawyer has not commented publicly, saying that they are not going to try the case in the media.

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has said that he will convene an independent panel to examine misconduct complaints by city employees against elected officials. He said he has told the city's personnel department to assemble a five-member Special Committee on Investigative Oversight that is comprised of two law professors and two former judges (one male and one female of each) and a member of the American Arbitration Association. Both law professors must have experience in employment law.

Anyone who has experienced harassment in the workplace and/or any type of retaliation for refusing an employer's inappropriate requests or reporting the harassment should contact an employment law attorney. He or she help ensure that your rights are protected, and that you are compensated for any loss of income and pain or suffering you have experienced due to harassment or discrimination in the workplace.

The Los Angeles Times, "Jose Huizar denies former staffer's sexual harassment allegations" David Zahniser, Aug. 12, 2013

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