Former NY Psychiatric Center employee awarded $580,000 in hostile work environment lawsuit

The Central New York Psychiatric Center was ordered to pay Christine Bergerson $580,000 for subjecting her to a hostile work environment and for terminating her after she complained about the sexual harassment that she had endured.

Bergerson, who is white, began dating a black coworker while she was employed at the center as a security hospital treatment assistant.  Bergerson alleged in her lawsuit that other coworkers had a problem with her interracial relationship and therefore bullied and harassed her.

The court documents said that the jury found the workplace bullying to be “so severe or pervasive … that it would interfere with her work performance.”

Bergerson’s attorney Norman Deep said that “Christine was put through hell and she had to relive during this trial everything that had occurred to her. We hope that this will send a clear message that in this country you cannot take into the workplace and use your prejudice against individuals working — that women in the workplace deserve to be treated in the same manner that men are.”

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