Lawsuit sheds more light on workplace harassment investigation at Charleston Co. Sheriff’s Office

(Source: Pixabay)
(Source: Pixabay)
Published: Apr. 30, 2019 at 9:49 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A lawsuit filed in December 2018 by a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office detective sheds more light on a 2017 workplace harassment investigation in which 2 employees were fired and another was disciplined.

Rickie Biggs was first selected to become a detective the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office Metro Major Case Unit in June 2017 where she was the only female, according to the lawsuit.

She was subjected to unwelcome sexual advances and was afraid to report them because the sheriff’s office does not have an effective complaint process for victims. She was scared about retaliation, the suit stated.

Two other detectives in the unit told their Lieutenant they saw Biggs being sexually harassed by their sergeant, the suit stated. According to the lawsuit, Biggs was upset the results of the following internal investigation were released publically.

During a meeting between Biggs, other detectives, and command staff when the suit claims that command staff admonished the other detectives for reporting the harassment, according to the suit.

The Sheriff’s Office press release in 2017 states that Lt. John Plunkett and Sgt. Matthew McGalliard were both terminated as a result of the investigation into the claims other detectives made on Biggs’ behalf. Sgt. Matthew Euper was suspended and placed on employment probation for six months.

In the lawsuit, Biggs is asking for a jury trial and alleges she suffered sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and that her civil rights were violated under Title VII.

In July 2018, Biggs also sent an unlawful employment practices charge to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the suit stated. She’s seeking punitive damages.

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