Lawyer: San Diego mayor never got harassment training, city may be liable
August 1st, 2013
07:59 AM ET
9 months ago

Lawyer: San Diego mayor never got harassment training, city may be liable

(CNN) - A lawyer for San Diego Mayor Bob Filner criticized the city for not providing sexual harassment training to the mayor, saying its failure to do so violated the law.

In a letter to the city attorney, Harvey Berger wrote that Filner might never have been sued for sexual harassment had he been properly trained.

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Filed under: California
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "@Sniffit, disregard my remarks to you. I see where you do believe the city should be held liable. I still disagree."

    Employers have a duty to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. When the occurrence of this kind of crap is so pervasive and rampant throughout Amurikan businesses and other employment situations, it's negligent to pretend that "this is just common sense and I, the employer, had no duty to make the effort to train my employees, particularly the power-positions, not to engage in it." Moreover, many states have statutes mandating that the training take place (CA is one), which raises the specter of whether the negligence is "per se." Don't get me wrong, guys like Filner are turds, but let's not lose site of the fact that employers have duties to their employees and shouldn't be allowed to simply write this kind of thing off as "he should've known better...guess he was raised wrong...oops, sorry we hired him." You hire 'em, you leash 'em. Period.

    August 1, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Sniffit

    "I was referring to the dirtbag playing the victim card, not the women."

    Duly noted. Criticism retracted. Sorry I misinterpreted, but your comment was vague.

    August 1, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Steveo

    @Sniffit,

    Appreciate the lawyer talk, makes sense! I feel for the people of SD though and as DD said , it may cost millions. To bad the 'Employer' cannot simply fire the bum! I am sure this guy had a clue but now he is hiding behind a lawyer!

    August 1, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. it must be said

    Venturer
    Why should anyone require training by their employer about sexual harassment? Everyone should know how to treat others with respect. If he killed someone, would the city be liable because of lack of training on how to avoid murder?
    ---

    One word: LAWYERS. And the culture of victimhood. Nothing is ever somebody's personal responsibility especailly if a lawyer can make money from it. It all fits very well with the liberal way of living.

    I wonder, can cities and towns now require that candidates undergo back ground checks to weed out the sex offenders? Oh, I guess that violates their privacy and right to hold office. What about the right of tax payers to not get ripped off?

    August 1, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. too funny

    this is the pathetic and morally bankrupt state you end up in when you follow the liberal line of thinking and behavior

    -

    Never miss a chance to broad brush all liberals, huh? This guy is no more representative of all liberals than Ensign, Vitter,Foley, Craig, Sanford or Gingrich is of all Conservatives. Take it back a step further, they are all men, so they must be representative of all men. How does that work for you?

    August 1, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Tony in Maine

    If he's too stupid to know it's not a good thing to grab ahold of a woman's butt, boobs or knish, he's too stupid to be mayor of a village let alone a city. This idiot is the reason recall should be firmly established in all states.

    August 1, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. rs

    A pretty basic oversight. I doubt it would have stopped the guy, but it does make the city laible.

    August 1, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. rs

    this is the pathetic and morally bankrupt state you end up in when you follow the liberal line of thinking and behavior.
    _________________________
    really? Do you think ONLY California has training against Sexual Harrassment? State and fedral governments for years have had mandatory programs on Sexual Harrassment, Ethics, Conflict of Interest, Cultural Sensitivity. Even deep Red backwards Arizona. But hey, they have to here, we're run by Republicans.

    August 1, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. anonymous

    too funny
    this is the pathetic and morally bankrupt state you end up in when you follow the liberal line of thinking and behavior
    -
    Never miss a chance to broad brush all liberals, huh? This guy is no more representative of all liberals than Ensign, Vitter,Foley, Craig, Sanford or Gingrich is of all Conservatives. Take it back a step further, they are all men, so they must be representative of all men. How does that work for you?
    --

    Yeah well the liberal left in this country is always doing this to conservativves so how does it feel when the shoe is on the other foot? Enjoy the payback. You are the one that made the rules so stop complaining about them when they get applied to you in the same way.

    August 1, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Data Driven

    @it must be said,

    Since 9/11, new civil service hires go through background checks with Homeland Security. I'm sure elected officials are not exempt. But since Filner has never been charged for sex crimes, or any other crimes as far as I can tell, he was doubtlessly cleared with ease.

    August 1, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Steveo

    I am hoping against hope that someone find a document with Filner's name on it stating he had sexual harrassment training! He just really needs to go away!

    August 1, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Palin Power

    Filner is the archtype liberal Democrat. All liberal democrats have very poor morals, ethics, integrity and values and are just as perverted as he is. San Diego is a red bastion of conservatism in a blue sea of California and needs to have another conservative republican mayor. Filner's inevitable departure is a clear sign that Sarah Palin will be our next President and San Diego will overwhelmingly vote for her.

    August 1, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Malory Archer

    Marie MD

    Harassment training? Give me a break!!!
    This idiot needs harassment training? What kind of "legal" excuse is this.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A very good one that would have saved the city of San Diego big if they'd just done so.

    August 1, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    If the City of San Diego offers, or requires, sexual harassment trainig of city employees like garbage collectors, then whose fault would it be if the mayor didn't get the it? Most places sit you down for an hour, lecture to you about stuff like how it's your victim's feelings are all really that matters, make you sign a form that they file, and send you on your merry way.

    August 1, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. too funny

    Yeah well the liberal left in this country is always doing this to conservativves

    Blah, blah, blah.
    Way to miss the point.
    So you are saying that Vitter and the rest are representative of all Conservatives? I believe my point is they are NOT.
    But, whatever. You are obviously the expert on that.

    August 1, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "One word: LAWYERS. And the culture of victimhood. Nothing is ever somebody's personal responsibility especailly if a lawyer can make money from it. It all fits very well with the liberal way of living."

    Filner is liable for his acts and the City is liable for its failures in its own duties to its employees. This has nothing to do with making sure lawyers make more money or taking responsibility and personal accountability away from Filner. It has everything to do with protecting employees and setting up a system that holds ALL parties accountable who were in a position to help prevent this from happening to these women.

    August 1, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    "Yeah well the liberal left in this country is always doing this to conservativves so how does it feel when the shoe is on the other foot? Enjoy the payback. You are the one that made the rules so stop complaining about them when they get applied to you in the same way."
    ---------------
    The difference is that liberals do not claim to have perfect morals, while conservatives do. It's their sales pitch.

    August 1, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. rs

    To all you Righties condeming all "liberals" and the state of California- pretty much for this one guy's bad behavior, you might want to remember that California isn't universally Blue, and that in fact San Diego is the heart of Red California. You're basically throwing yourselves under the bus here. That the City failed to run this guy through appropriate training probably wouldn't have stopped him, but it will make them liable.This would be the failing of a probably Red city government.

    August 1, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    When I worked for AT&T ALL of the employees were put through what was then called "Sensitivity Training".
    It
    I thought it was a great that AT&T wanted to ensure that all employees had a good, safe working environment.
    How naive of me. Evidently they were just covering their arses in the event just this type of situation should occur.

    August 1, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. rs

    Filner is the archtype liberal Democrat. All liberal democrats have very poor morals, ethics, integrity and values and are just as perverted as he is.
    ____________________________________
    So, Vitter, Sanford, Gingrich, and all the other GOP trolls caught with their pants down were liberal Democrats? You people are too funny- even your insults are poorly thought out.

    August 1, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Steveo

    @Rudy NYC

    "Yeah well the liberal left in this country is always doing this to conservativves so how does it feel when the shoe is on the other foot? Enjoy the payback. You are the one that made the rules so stop complaining about them when they get applied to you in the same way."
    -----
    The difference is that liberals do not claim to have perfect morals, while conservatives do. It's their sales pitch
    ------------------
    Which conservatives, Rudy and when was that said? I have NEVER heard ANYONE claim perfect morales! NO ONE! 5 Pinocchios for you!

    August 1, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    State and fedral governments for years have had mandatory programs on Sexual Harrassment, Ethics, Conflict of Interest, Cultural Sensitivity
    -------------------------------------------------
    rs is quite correct, and not only federal and state govenments but private industry as well.
    Back in the early '90's AT&T had EVERY employee attend what they called "Sensitivy Training".
    The training was very detailed and intensive and it covered topics such as what other cultures, different genders found offensive.
    They were protecting themselves in the event of legal action of course come to find out.

    August 1, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. it must be said

    Sniffit
    It has everything to do with protecting employees and setting up a system that holds ALL parties accountable who were in a position to help prevent this from happening to these women.
    --

    Wrong. Nothing can be done to prevent it from happening unless there are police in every room. All of this "training" is nothing more than legal cover. Do it and the Ambulance Chasing lawyers won't have such an easy time of suing you and lining their pockets. Don't do it and line the lawyers pockets with millions of dollars.

    Only in America can a 70 year old professional polician claim he didn't know it was wrong to grab a woman's private parts and/or force himself on them. We expect our children to know this with a little 60 second chat but a 70 year professional politician needs to be trained for hours? Welcome to liberal America people. And taxpayers of San Diego, get ready to pay through the nose. But then again, this is what you get for electing a Democrat.

    August 1, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That the City failed to run this guy through appropriate training probably wouldn't have stopped him, but it will make them liable
    -------------------------------------------------Understood rs.
    I posted that private industry also conducts Sensitivity Training. Evidently not so much to promote a good work environment as to protect themselves from just these types of legal fees and lawsuits.
    Still, you would think that his admission of wrongdoing would let the city of San Diego off the hool. After all, he was able to say that he'd acted inappropriately without the benefit of said harrassment training.
    Of course I'm no Sniffit!

    August 1, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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