Tag Archives: hostile work environment

Morningside police officer files $1M discrimination suit

Three-year vet alleges workplace harassment


Carrissa Lewis, 25, is the only female officer in the Morningside Police Department, where she has worked since 2012, and said she was subjected to rude comments about women and was not accommodated when she became pregnant last year.

Most of Lewis’ claims are leveled against Morningside’s police chief, Amos Damron.

“He would call some women [female dogs], he would say they were nuts and crazy,” Lewis said. “I’m a female and I’m not nuts, I’m not crazy. He never said that about a guy or male.”

Lewis said Damron also showed her pictures of scantily clad women from a dating website and did not honor her doctor’s notes when she became pregnant.

“He would try to make me go out in the work field even thought I was ordered by my doctor to be on [desk] duty,” she said.

Todd Pounds, a Fort Washington-based attorney representing Damron and the town of Morningside, said the police chief denies all allegations of sexual discrimination and harassment and that a formal response will be issued in the next few days.

In emails to Lewis’ attorney forwarded to The Gazette, two Morningside employees said they witnessed Damron make rude comments about women and show inappropriate photos online, but requested their names not be printed because of job security.

Attorney Jim Bell of Jimmy Bell, LLC is representing Lewis and noted that his client was valedictorian of her police academy, has a clean record and received positive performance reviews in her position at Morningside. Bell said Damron’s alleged actions were based on Lewis’ sex and not her personal background or actions.

“It’s called a hostile work environment. It’s a hostile work environment when you make derogatory comments about women, when you call women out of their names,” Bell said. “Why should she have to go through that?”

>>> Read more Gazzette



Parents seek answers after Upper Marlboro principal resigns.

Clinton Christian school

Parents are demanding answers after management and personality conflicts at Clinton Christian School in Upper Marlboro led to the principal’s resignation earlier this month.

Former principal Carlos Williams said school president Steve Layne gave him a written warning Nov. 20 about creating a hostile work environment. Williams said the warning came after he reprimanded a teacher for tardiness and expelled a student who consistently failed to wear his school uniform.

Williams said he was forced to resign Jan. 2 after Layne demanded he sign a “corrective action plan” without ample time to consult his attorney. The plan, which Layne gave him Dec. 29, severely limited Williams’ role at the school, according to Williams, who first became principal in August 2011.

“At that point it was too much harassment and too much damage had been done that it was practically impossible to return,” Williams said. “I never want to leave families in the middle of the year, but it left me no choice.”

Layne, who is also the pastor of Life Church in Upper Marlboro, said the school could not comment publicly on any matter related to a staff member’s employment.

“Legally we’re not permitted to give the details of any personnel issue, which makes it difficult to alleviate some of the particular concerns the parents might have,” Layne said.

Victoria Davis, 48, of Clinton, the mother of a second-grader, said the sudden departure of the principal disturbed her.

“Mr. Williams was very hands-on,” Davis said. “He was always there in the morning, letting the kids in, directing traffic, different things. He was very visible.”

She said Layne would not meet with the school’s Parent Teacher Fellowship to address concerns and parents have had trouble arranging one-on-one meetings.

>>> Read more Gazette