Three-year vet alleges workplace harassment
Carrissa Lewis, 25, is the only female officer in the Morningside Police Department, where she has worked since 2012, and said she was subjected to rude comments about women and was not accommodated when she became pregnant last year.
Most of Lewis’ claims are leveled against Morningside’s police chief, Amos Damron.
“He would call some women [female dogs], he would say they were nuts and crazy,” Lewis said. “I’m a female and I’m not nuts, I’m not crazy. He never said that about a guy or male.”
Lewis said Damron also showed her pictures of scantily clad women from a dating website and did not honor her doctor’s notes when she became pregnant.
“He would try to make me go out in the work field even thought I was ordered by my doctor to be on [desk] duty,” she said.
Todd Pounds, a Fort Washington-based attorney representing Damron and the town of Morningside, said the police chief denies all allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment and that a formal response will be issued in the next few days.
In emails to Lewis’ attorney forwarded to The Gazette, two Morningside employees said they witnessed Damron make rude comments about women and show inappropriate photos online, but requested their names not be printed because of job security.
Attorney Jim Bell of Jimmy Bell, LLC is representing Lewis and noted that his client was valedictorian of her police academy, has a clean record and received positive performance reviews in her position at Morningside. Bell said Damron’s alleged actions were based on Lewis’ sex and not her personal background or actions.
“It’s called a hostile work environment. It’s a hostile work environment when you make derogatory comments about women, when you call women out of their names,” Bell said. “Why should she have to go through that?”