Personal Injury

FEMA chief addresses sexual harassment following investigation of agency’s HR director

sexual harassment man and woman photo by army dot mil 316x210 FEMA chief addresses sexual harassment following investigation of agencys HR directorFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator William “Brock” Long sent all employees an email describing the seven-month-long investigation into sexual harassment allegations involving the agency’s former personnel chief and discussed measures he was taking to address the issue including mandatory training, new counseling services, and a new office to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.

FEMA personnel chief Corey Coleman, who resigned from his post at the FEMA headquarters in June under allegations of sexual harassment, had been the source of complaints dating back to 2015.

Coleman was a senior executive bringing in an annual salary of $177,150, and oversaw the hiring and personnel policies for the 20,000-person agency and its 10 regional offices.

Investigators say that beginning in 2015, Coleman hired many male friends and fraternity brothers, as well as women he had met online or in bars. Some were reportedly promoted throughout the agency without following proper protocols. According to employee statements, some women were transferred to other departments and offices so that Coleman’s friends could try to be intimate with them.

The investigation, which began last year after a woman reported that she had been sexually harassed by Coleman, was completed in July. The preliminary report describes sexual encounters Coleman had with two different women who worked for him. One woman claimed she was denied a promotion and that Coleman tried to fire her after she ended the relationship. The other woman admitted that Coleman created a job for her for which she was not qualified after she told him she wanted to leave FEMA.

Long said he chose to inform employees about the case “to be open and transparent and tell this story rather than people telling it for us.” FEMA, like many other agencies since the #MeToo campaign took hold, have stepped up efforts to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Source: Washington Post