Clayton school officer files sexual harassment lawsuit

A Clayton County school district officer has filed a lawsuit against the district, claiming it created a hostile work environment after she shared her complaint that her supervisor sent sexually explicit and suggestive messages.

The officer, Alicia Burgess, said the harassment began last September. Burgess said in her complaint that she received several unwanted messages from her supervisor that included a request to perform a sex act on her. The supervisor, identified in court records as Sgt. Freddie Davis Jr., threatened to take disciplinary action against Burgess if she reported the alleged harassment.

Burgess said colleagues refused to work with her and were openly hostile. She filed a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against Davis in November. Clayton County conducted an internal investigation and issued a written reprimand against Davis, “but no other disciplinary action,” Burgess wrote in her court complaint.

The lawsuit was filed last week.

“The combination of the sexually explicit and harassing conduct of Sgt. Davis, the threat of a negative performance review from Sgt. Davis as retaliation for Burgess’ rebuffing his advances, and the lack of action from the CCPS School Police in reacting to the same caused Burgess emotional distress for which she has received professional help,” the complaint said.

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Burgess said her salary was cut and she wants her pay restored, compensatory and punitive damages against Davis and the school district’s police chief.

The school district said in a statement that it does not comment on pending litigation. 

“However, please note that the Clayton County Public Schools does take all allegations of sexual harassment seriously. Therefore, any complaints brought forth are investigated thoroughly and appropriate action is accordingly taken based upon the findings,” the statement said.

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