Denelle Fedor was hired as chief of staff for San Jose City Councilman Pierlugi Oliverio. Allegedly, it did not take long for the councilman to begin harassing his employee. Though the complaint alleges that Oliverio’s behavior toward Fedor was “severe, pervasive, and unwelcome” it does not specify whether or not Oliverio subjected Fedor to unwanted sexual advances.
Fedor is basing her sexual harassment claims off of purported gender discrimination claims. Fedor and her counsel claim in the complaint that Oliverio would continually subject her to humiliating name-calling and harassment. The councilman repeatedly called Fedor a “bitch” and other offensive names.
Fedor experienced extreme “emotional distress, loss of wages, and medical expenses” due to Oliverio’s derogatory name-calling. Oliverio and the city of San Jose are denying all the allegations, and the city commented they would “vigorously defend” the councilman against the claims. The city of San Jose is also named as a defendant of the suit.
This is the latest in a long string of local politicians allegedly harassing members of their staff; LA City Councilman Jose Huizar is currently settling a sexual harassment case wherein he allegedly conditioned a female employee’s job on sexual favors. Most infamously, former San Diego mayor, Bob Filner, had eighteen different women come forward about harassment. The city of San Diego has settled several lawsuits with the women who filed them. Filner is currently under house arrest for a battery charge and is banned from politics.