Justine Eisemann, a former secretary for a Belleville Police Department captain, has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming she was sexually harassed by Captain John Moody and that leaders didn’t do anything to stop it.
Eismann’s attorney, MaryAnne Quill, said that Eismann endured a hostile workplace and nothing was done about it.
According to the lawsuit, Moody once served as a captain over the operations division.
“Defendant Moody subjected Plaintiff to vulgar, humiliating, severe and pervasive harassment based upon her gender throughout her employment. His actions created a hostile working environment for Plaintiff,” the lawsuit alleges.
“Defendant Moody sexually harassed Plaintiff and violated the Illinois Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) by engaging in continuous unwanted, unwelcome sexual jokes, comments, and advances toward Plaintiff …,” the suit adds.
Eisemann worked as a secretary for the police department from July 2015 to September 2018. She claims that Moody asked her in February 2018 to feel a detective’s face “to see if she thought his shaved face was sexy.” Eisemann said no and walked away as she, “felt humiliated.”
Every year, employees were required to sign a form indicating whether they had experienced sexual harassment. The form indicated that there were additional materials describing appropriate and inappropriate conduct. Eisemann claims she never got the additional material and that Moody forced her to sign the form in front of him.
According to the lawsuit, Moody would only give Eisemann extra materials after she signed the form. She still refused to sign it.
Moody gave her until July 23, 2018 to sign the form and told her that he would not write a good review for her unless she signed the form.
The suit also claims that Moody would call Eisemann into his office to make sexual jokes or talk about the physical appearance of other women.
Eisemann eventually filed a complaint with the city’s human resources director on June 28, 2018.
The lawsuit says the city put Moody on administrative leave on Aug. 7, 2018.
On Aug. 30 2018, Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay sent Eisemann a letter stating that her claims of discrimination, sexual harassment and a hostile work environment weren’t sustained.
In October 2018, Eisemann received another letter from Clay dated Sept. 27, 2018 that said she voluntarily resigned from her job.
The lawsuit seeks lost wages and benefits, reinstatement, front wages, emotional distress damages, compensatory damages and punitive damages.