A new lawmaker in Florida’s House of Representatives is now facing legal action for alleged sexual harassment.
The suit, filed by an intern and an aide, claims that Rep. Fabian Basabe made inappropriate comments to them and also on several occasions touched the two staff members in a suggestive manner.
Basabe’s behavior has been questioned before. Recently, a firm investigating on behalf of the House of Representatives found the evidence inconclusive after another aide accused the lawmaker of slapping him and degrading him.
The lawmaker for his part has denied all allegations and has suggested that they are frivolous. He accused one of the staffers who recently sued of lying and just trying to collect money.
The lawsuit details a series of events in which he allegedly made unwanted sexual advances on the two staff members. The former intern said he eventually quit because he was repeatedly experiencing sexual harassment.
Both former staffers have indicated that in addition to their lawsuit, they are going to file administrative complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC.
Tampa residents shouldn’t be intimidated to accuse higher-ups of harassment
Like everyone else, Florida lawmakers and their offices must follow employment laws. If they do not, they may have to pay victims of harassment compensation and face other consequences.
It can be intimidating to accuse one’s supervisor of sexual harassment, especially if they have influence in the community or are highly regarded in the business. However, there are many laws in place that legally protect those who report sexual harassment in good faith.
If an employer punishes someone for reporting harassment or participating in an official investigation, the employer can face additional consequences.
Still, it is important for sexual harassment victims to make sure they understand their rights and options as they go forward.