Mark Livingston, a 21-year Marine Corps veteran and former senior intelligence worker for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), recently filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. In it, he alleges was retaliated against at the TSA for standing up to superiors who harassed and bullied women.
TSA has a history of these types of harassment claims. The agency’s purpose is to secure airline travel and passengers, but there have been numerous reports over the years of sexual harassment of female employees. There was even a congressional inquiry into these reports.
Plaintiff says he tried to protect other workers
Livingston filed his complaint in 2016. He described several incidents he had after he spoke out against the harassment occurring in the workplace.
In one such incident, Livingston had a confrontation with Joseph Salvator, who served as the deputy assistant administrator for office security operations. Livingston accused Salvator of harassing a woman in his presence. Livingston told Salvator he would tell the truth about the incident if asked about it, and Salvator told him they would not be able to work together if Livingston continued to act like a “Boy Scout.” Livingston was ultimately demoted and reassigned.
In the #MeToo era, it is more important than ever for companies and agencies to have strong anti-harassment policies and training procedures in place to protect their employees. Anyone who is aware of sexual harassment occurring in the workplace should report the incidents to the proper authorities immediately. Retaliation such as that allegedly committed against Livingston is illegal and can result in some significant fines and other consequences.
For more information on filing a whistleblower claim if you were a victim of retaliation of any sort after alerting authorities to wrongdoing, meet with an experienced attorney at Kardell Law Group.