City asks for dismissal of former Lincoln officer’s harassment claims
City says harassment of Erin Spilker wasn't severe enough to force her resignation
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Lawyers for the City of Lincoln and a former Lincoln Police officer met in court on Thursday to begin arguments in a sexual assault and discrimination lawsuit.
Erin Spilker, former Lincoln Police spokeswoman, is one of six people to come forward alleging sexual assault, harassment and discrimination throughout Lincoln’s police and fire departments.
In initial court documents filed in January, Spilker says she was sexually assaulted and harassed multiple times over 20 years.
Tyler Spahn, the city’s lawyer, is seeking the dismissal of two of Spilker’s claims because the city does not believe that the harassment she faced was severe enough to cause her to resign over a poor work environment.
Spilker’s lawyer, Kelly Brandon, argued that any form of harassment faced by employees is too much harassment.
She stated that the city failed to address, prevent or mediate the patterns of harassment throughout the police department, despite receiving complaints from multiple sources.
- Hostile Work Environment
- Sex Discrimination
- Constructive Discharge
Brandon argues that all four claims are direct violations of the Nebraska Fair Employment Practice Act.
Spahn’s Thursday arguments sought to dismiss claims 2 and 3, saying that the arguments do not allege an extremely hostile work environment.
Lancaster County District Court Judge Kevin McManaman said that revisions to the arguments are due by the end of the month.
Once the revised arguments are received, McManaman will decide if those claims will be dismissed.
Since 2019, the city has settled three lawsuits for harassment and discrimination in the fire and police departments.