Gilbury-Lewiston Sexual Harassment Case

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 2
Words: 598
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

On the 15th of July, 2017, Peter Lewiston’s employment at the Pine Circle Unified School District, or the PCUSD, was terminated by his violation of the sexual harassment policy of the district. Lewiston was a senior maintenance employee with an above-average work history and a total of eleven years with the PCUSD. It was also known that he was a widower since 2012 and his colleagues frequently described him as ‘friendly, outgoing, and lonely.’ Beverly Gilbury was one of Lewiston’s co-workers and a teacher to the fifth-grade class. At the time she was significantly younger than Lewiston and married and had been a PCUSD employee for six years. The incident took place at the Simpson Elementary School. Lewiston and Gilbury had worked in what was seen as a “cooperative” relationship before the events of the sexual harassment.

On June 7th, 2017, Gilbury found roses and a note on her desk, and later in the day, Lewiston proceeded to invite her to lunch, which she declined. On the next day, a second note followed that continued to make romantic advances on Gilbury and another invitation to lunch was made by Lewiston. Gilbury declined and reminded him that she was married. At the end of the day, Lewiston approached Gilbury near her car and asked them to explain his behavior to her. Gilbury was agitated and stated that she had to leave and in the commotion, Lewiston had touched her head. He claims that he was reaching for her shoulder while Gilbruy expresses that he was likely trying to stroke her hair. A third note followed with an apology a few days later. A hearing was scheduled, but Gilbury missed the appointment and after she filed a report with an EEOC officer, the district found that Lewiston’s actions were creating an unfit working space for Gilbury, and his employment was terminated.

The EEOC’s definition of sexual harassment is unlawful harassment against a person, whether to an individual of the same or different sex. This can include sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or verbal and physical harassment that has sexual characteristics (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2021). Teasing, offhand comments, and isolated incidents of mild nature are usually not punished by law, it is inappropriate in the workplace. The harasser can be a supervisor in the workplace, a co-worker, or a client. According to this definition, Lewiston has violated multiple principles of the EEOC’s guidelines with his continued advances, requests, as well as physical contact that was unwanted.

Motive is recorded alongside other information, although it should not be used to sway the board’s decision on the punishment for the harasser (Rayner, 2021). By considering the harasser’s reasoning, the board minimizes the damage done to the victim by justifying the harassment and giving the harasser a sense of entitlement over their victims. However, it should not be ignored altogether and must be included in the investigation to retain a full picture and build insight into workplace harassment.

I agree with the EEOC officer’s conclusion on the case and think it was the most reasonable course of action taken against the harasser. Although Lewiston had not committed any explicitly illegal actions, he behaved inappropriately and made Gilbury’s workplace sexually hostile and unfit for the proper conduct of her tasks. As such, termination is the best solution, and Lewiston may not suffer legal repercussions but also will not be able to contact and harass Gilbury in any other capacity. Considering Lewiston had no previous cases of harassment, termination is a sensible punishment as well as a preventative measure for a further misdemeanor.


Rayner, C. (2021). Concepts, Approaches and Methods. Portsmouth Business School.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2021). Sexual Harassment. Web.