Complaint Seeks Redress to City of Las Vegas’s Callous Disregard for Sexual Assault Victim’s Rights
A complaint was filed with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC) on July 9, 2019, on behalf Marady Leary against the City of Las Vegas for sexual assault, sexual harassment, retaliation, and unlawful discrimination.
Ms. Leary was a “Special Assistant” to former City Councilman Steve Seroka. As Ms. Leary’s direct supervisor, Seroka used his position of power with the City of Las Vegas to methodically manipulate and harass Ms. Leary until the day he sexually assaulted her.
The City of Las Vegas did nothing to protect Ms. Leary from the sexual harassment and assault. The City did not provide training to Seroka, did not intervene when actions were taken that were not normal or appropriate, and then failed to complete an investigation after Ms. Leary complained to Human Resources about Seroka’s illicit acts against her. The City also callously disregarded the injuries and pain suffered by Ms. Leary until the City discharged her when she could not return to work due to the disabilities she had sustained as a result of the sexual harassment and assault.
By filing a complaint with NERC, Ms. Leary seeks redress for the mental and physical injuries she has sustained as well as answers to several important questions. First, what legal justification did the City have when it failed to complete a timely investigation of her complaints to HR concerning Mr. Seroka? To date -- more than six months after she first complained about the Seroka sexual harassment and assault --the City has inexplicably and inexcusably failed to complete its investigation.
Second, Ms. Leary would like to know why the City failed to accommodate her serious health condition and disability arising out of the physical and mental trauma caused by Seroka and the City despite having been provided letters from two of her healthcare providers explaining her condition and the need for extended time off to recover.
Third, Ms. Leary wants the City to explain why, after she was harassed and sexually assaulted, it chose to further harass and intimidate Ms. Leary by making unreasonable demands of her, including demanding five years of her past health records, rather than responding to Ms. Leary with empathy and understanding about what she has been suffering through and making reasonable accommodations. Despite several conversations with the City through her representatives, the City chose to ignore its obligations to actively address and accommodate Ms. Leary’s health and well-being.
By its actions and inaction, the City has demonstrated a callous disregard for Ms. Leary’s legal rights despite having been provided clear and compelling evidence that:
• Ms. Leary was sexually harassed and sexually assaulted by former City Councilman Steve Seroka;
• The City is vicariously liable and directly responsible for the unlawful acts of former City Councilman Seroka;
• The City failed to complete a timely investigation;
• The City failed to train and supervise Mr. Seroka with regard to sexual harassment;
• The City failed to accommodate Ms. Leary’s reasonable request to remain on paid administrative leave until the conclusion of the investigation and until the implementation of a reasonable plan to ensure Ms. Leary’s health and well-being were protected;
• The City retaliated against Ms. Leary for making the human resources complaint and retaliated against Ms. Leary for desiring that the investigation be completed before considering the plan for her to return to work, which, in fact, operated as a constructive discharge;
• The City failed to keep the investigation, and particularly Ms. Leary’s name, confidential, and further leaked this information to third parties, including the press.
Due to the City’s and Seroka’s discrimination, Ms. Leary was denied: the opportunity for a safe and harmonious workplace free from harassment and assault; peace in a job she loved; and a continued ascending career path for her decision to decline the councilman’s sexual advances. Consequently, Ms. Leary has suffered severe physical and emotional trauma. Additionally, Ms. Leary’s husband and children have had to watch the person they love and respect suffer tremendously.