Daily Archives: November 11, 2009

Administaff and Conn-X sued by EEOC for anti-Semitic workplace bullying

The EEOC filed a lawsuit against staffing company Administaff, Inc. and Conn-X, LLC, a cable service provider in Baltimore, for subjecting Jewish employees to religious discrimination and workplace bullying.

The lawsuit claims that the two companies subjected Scott Jacobson and Joey Jacobson, who are brothers, to physical and verbal harassment and a hostile work environment because of their religion, Judaism. The victims claim that from September 2005 and continuing for several years, they were called “dirty Jew,” “dumb Jew,” and other anti-Semitic slurs by managers and coworkers.

The physical harassment included an incident in which Scott Jacobson’s work vehicle was defaced with a swastika and an incident in which he was forced into a trash dumpster for the amusement of managers, who observed the entire incident on a work surveillance camera. 

“The harassment here was cruel and callous,” said Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “The use of the swastika is an especially egregious and provocative act, and the anti-Semitic epithets and physical violence alleged here are also outrageous. The EEOC will act, and act forcefully, to rectify this kind of workplace abuse.”

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Cheesecake Factory pays $345,000 to settle male-on-male sexual harassment lawsuit

The EEOC announced that Cheesecake Factory Inc has agreed to pay $345,000 to six male employees who were allegedly sexually harassed by other male kitchen workers at the Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Chandler, Arizona.

The EEOC lawsuit claimed that the workplace bullies touched the victims inappropriately, made inappropriate sexual comments, and forced the victims into repeated incidents of simulated rape.  In one instance, managers allegedly witnessed employees dragging the male victims kicking and screaming into a refrigerated room.

Mary Jo O’Neill, regional attorney of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission district office in Phoenix, said, “The evidence was clear, and everyone knew about it. Beyond the lavish decor that the company boasts on its website was a horribly dysfunctional workplace where male workers lived in fear.”

Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Chandler, AZ

Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Chandler, AZ

Despite the fact that the victims, Bryce Fitzpatrick, Albert Miller, Jesse DeJong, Michael Wilson, John Andrew, and Julio Muñoz, complained to almost every manager at the restaurant, but none of the managers did anything to stop the workplace bullying.

One victim eventually called the police and reported the hostile work environment and sexual harassment.  Chandler police investigated the incidents but did not file any charges.

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Toxic boss ‘brought prostitutes to business meetings’

A former employee accused UK-based Nomos Capital owner, Mark Lowe, of sex discrimination and creating a hostile work environment by telling inappropriate, sexist jokes to employees and by frequently bringing prostitutes to business meetings.

Mark Lowe

Mark Lowe

 

Jordan Wimmer, 29, is suing Lowe for £4 million at a London employment tribunal for firing her from her £500,000 a year job as a marketing executive after having subjected her to ongoing sexual harassment.

Wimmer testified that Lowe, who is estimated to be worth £103 million, brought an Asian escort named Ling to investor and distribution meetings in Hong Kong in October 2005.  Wimmer said, “In spite of everyone else wearing formal business attire on these occasions Ling wore designer hot pants which barely covered her buttocks, stilettos and no stockings… which was very inappropriate.”  Lowe also allegedly brought a Russian escort to business meetings in London, Paris and Geneva.

On the Paris trip, Wimmer told the tribunal that Lowe took Ms Wimmer and a female colleague to two topless clubs during their Paris trip, where Lowe suggested that they get their own “private lap dance.”

Wimmer also alleged that Lowe repeatedly told sexist jokes to employees and that he referred to Wimmer as a “bimbo” and “stupid blonde” on a number of occasions.

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