Lawsuit alleges City of Ukiah Public Works Department Employees Engaged in Egregious Sex-Based Discrimination and Harassment

Ukiah, California

October 27, 2021

Richard Dale, a former Street Sweeper Operator for the Street Maintenance Division of the City of Ukiah’s Public Works Department, has filed suit against the City of Ukiah. In his complaint filed on August 18, 2021, in Ukiah County Superior Court, Dale alleges that he was subjected to systematic and pervasive harassment and discrimination on the basis of his gender expression and perceived sexual orientation over several years, starting in 2015. He alleges that he endured this treatment despite pleading for help for years. Dale alleges his co-workers routinely called him names, belittled him, and teased him for his perceived lack of masculinity and perceived sexual orientation. Dale further alleges that these conversations allegedly included intimate questions about his wife’s body and his and her sex life.

In addition, Dale alleges that he was frequently bullied by way of job reassignments. This included allegedly being pulled off street sweeping assignments and given extra work by his superiors in order to make him feel unwelcome. Dale alleges that this treatment was a concerted action on the part of his co-workers so as to make him feel as though he was not wanted due to his perceived lack of masculinity and perceived sexual orientation. Dale alleges he complained to his superiors about this treatment upwards of fifteen times from 2015 to 2018, with little to no results or change in his working conditions and treatment.

Dale alleges that as a consequence of years of working in this environment of fear and abuse, he has developed acute anxiety and stress. Despite Mr. Dale’s willingness to be returned to a more hospitable work environment, Dale alleges that City of Ukiah administrators have begun the process of forcibly retiring Dale for his injuries. Dale alleges that City administrators have not been willing to engage in a good-faith interactive process to find a way for him to return to his existing position in an environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Dale is represented by attorney Kyle Todd, Esq. of Kyle Todd, P.C. Requests for comment can be directed to Mr. Todd, at info@kyletodd.com or (323) 208-9171.