CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – A Cedar Rapids post office official received a warning instead of a 14-day suspension after five different employees complained of being sexually harassed, documents show. that our KCRG-TV9 i9 investigation team received via an open case request. It appears the manager was fired months later after other incidents occurred.
A United States Postal Service spokesperson in an emailed statement told our i9 Investigation Team in April that the Postal Service is committed to providing its employees with a safe work environment. Documents of Postal service to have Many times said the federal agency has a “zero tolerance” policy on sexual harassment, which means “every act or threat of violence, regardless of who instigates it, elicits an immediate and firm response.”
Our KCRG-TV9 i9 investigation team spoke to a current and former employee at a Cedar Rapids Post Office site in April who complained about a culture of sexual harassment in the workplace . Both employees told us that complaints were repeatedly ignored or not investigated. Our i9 investigation led Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to request a federal investigation in April, which is supported by Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (R-IA01)
But the documents, which our i9 investigation team received through a record request, show only one case reported to Human Resources related to workplace harassment at all Cedar Rapids post offices in over a period of five years. This is despite employees sharing documentation of their multiple complaints with managers. The Postal Service told TV9 it has no way of tracking complaints raised informally, resolved locally, or raised in a forum like the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEO). These figures also do not reflect the cases currently under investigation.
The Postal Service withheld about 100 pages of documents due to exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act, but gave us two documents called a “decision letter.” These detail specific disciplinary actions and the circumstances leading to those consequences.
According to the first letter, a manager made several sexual comments to other employees for years. These charges include:
- Manager told employee she had ‘too small checks for you to f–K’
- The manager was heard saying to an employee, “You want that day off, don’t you?” You have to give me something”.
- The manager called himself “dad” and told the employees that “the clerks will be working their days not scheduled for dad.”
- The manager was heard saying to another employee, “Yes, daddy is getting you in and working.”
- The manager told an employee “if you had children, you would have a big ass and boobs”.
- The director was heard saying “I like the way —- walks around in his tight clothes” and “— has a nice ass”
- The manager told an employee “if you weren’t married, I would force you to marry me”
- The manager repeatedly tried to get into another employee’s car
- The manager retaliated against employees if he believed they had made statements.
The director denied all of those claims in an investigative interview, documents show. But, the Postal Service decided to issue the director a warning letter instead of a 14-day suspension.
Shawn Dickerson, who is listed as the manager of distribution operations, wrote the letter dated March 10, 2021 and said the manager had eroded the trust of his subordinates and exhibited a serious lack of professionalism, leadership and good behavior. He wrote that the manager presented himself as a rights holder and used a “Quid Pro Quo” mentality towards employees.
“Your failure to accept responsibility for your actions leads me to believe that I should question your ability to perform the duties of your position with the USPS.” Dickerson wrote.
Although the manager’s name is redacted due to employee privacy laws, a second letter indicates that the manager was fired months later for other allegations, including sexual and inappropriate comments and for failing to properly investigate a report of sexual harassment. This termination letter notes that the director had received a previous warning letter instead of a 14-day suspension on the same date as the previous letter the Postal Service had sent to TV9.
According to the second letter, the manager of a post office in Cedar Rapids denied calling an employee “C-Caine,” making remarks about an employee’s damaged leg, and claiming to have had sex with him. several women.
An appeal upheld the aggregate dismissal sentence, but found the Postal Service failed to establish a preponderance of evidence that the manager failed to take appropriate action when receiving a report of harassment .
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