sexual relationship between Woerner and Valles (a married man).
On March 31, 1980 Valles complained to Deputy Chief John
Townsend ("Townsend") about the treatment Woerner was receiving.
Townsend failed to take any corrective action. Within a few days
Jankowski chastised Valles for having made such a report.
Thereafter Thedos, Jankowski and others acted in concert to
penalize plaintiffs for complaining about their treatment.
On August 5, 1980 Woerner was injured while on duty. Daniel
Williamson ("Williamson"), Acting Coordinator of the Police
Department Medical Section, commenced a series of actions
designed to harass Woerner. Those actions included repeatedly
requiring Woerner, then on crutches, to report to the Medical
Section of the Police Department for no apparent or stated
reason. On one of those occasions Woerner fell to the floor and
reinjured herself. When Valles registered a complaint over the
medical harassment Woerner was receiving, he was charged with
Plaintiffs exhausted all intradepartmental remedies, including
directing grievances to Superintendent of Police Richard Brzeczek
("Brzeczek"), who also refused to take action against the other
defendants (thus tacitly approving their conduct). No action was
taken on any of the grievances, so plaintiffs brought their
complaint of sex discrimination to Channel 5 News. As a result,
Thedos registered a complaint that triggered an Internal Affairs
Division investigation of both plaintiffs.
Count I alleges the two Section 1983 causes of action referred
to earlier. They will be dealt with in turn.
1. Sexual Harassment of Woerner
Many of Woerner's troubles stem from her initial encounter with
Thedos. She was subjected to a long series of harassing
activities because she was female. Although she was never fired,
the Complaint's allegations paint a picture of an intolerable
working environment and severely dampened career opportunities.
Such allegations of sexual harassment are creating a growing
body of employment discrimination law. However Woerner chose not
to use an administrative remedy under Title VII, instead seeking
direct relief under Section 1983 for a violation of the Equal
Protection Clause. While Woerner's failure to pursue a Title VII
claim will not bar her Section 1983 claim, see, Johnson v.
Railway Express Agency, Inc., 421 U.S. 454, 459-61, 95 S.Ct.
1716, 1719-20, 44 L.Ed.2d 295 (1975) (simultaneous Title VII and
Section 1981 claims permissible),*fn2 neither the parties nor
this Court have found a case addressing the question whether
sexual harassment can constitute a violation of the Equal
Were this a Title VII case, this Court would have no difficulty
in upholding the Complaint. It is in full agreement with the
decision in Bundy v. Jackson, 641 F.2d 934, 943-46 (D.C.Cir.
1981), where the Court held that Title VII permits a cause of
action where a woman has been subjected to sexual harassment even
if she has not been deprived of any tangible job benefits. Upon
analysis this Court has determined that though the conceptual
route to be traveled under Section 1983 is different from that
under Title VII, the result is the same.
As a threshold matter, it is well settled that claims of sex
discrimination are cognizable under the Equal Protection Clause.
Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71, 92 S.Ct. 251, 30 L.Ed.2d 225 (1971).
Moreover, an Equal Protection Clause claim need not involve a
policy toward an entire class of persons. It is sufficient if a
state acts so as to discriminate intentionally against one
person because of that person's membership in a discrete
Plaintiffs' Complaint charges that Woerner was intentionally
treated differently from her fellow officers because of her sex.
As this Court and others have held (though in the Title VII
context), sex discrimination exists whenever a demand is made on
an employee of one sex that would not be made of an employee of
the opposite sex. Wright v. Methodist Youth Services, Inc.,
511 F. Supp. 307, 310 (N.D.Ill. 1981); Barnes v. Costle, 561 F.2d 983
(D.C.Cir. 1977). Clearly the treatment Woerner received, such as
Thedos' alleged sexual advances, would not have been directed
toward a male police officer.
Because Woerner has properly alleged state action that
classifies on the basis of sex,*fn4 that action must be
subjected to a careful scrutiny, Davis v. Passman, 442 U.S. 228,
234-35, 99 S.Ct. 2264, 2271, 60 L.Ed.2d 846 (1979):
"To withstand scrutiny under the Equal Protection
component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process
Clause, `classification by gender must serve
important governmental objectives and be
substantially related to achievement of those
objectives.' Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190, 197 [97
S.Ct. 451, 457, 50 L.Ed.2d 397] (1976)." Califano v.
Webster, 430 U.S. 313, 316-17, 97 S.Ct. 1192, 1194,
51 L.Ed.2d 360 (1977).
Woerner has certainly charged acts entirely unrelated to a
legitimate governmental objective. No such legitimate objective
is served when a supervisor propositions a patrol officer