Daily Archives: December 2, 2009

Two women accuse State Farm boss of sexual harassment, assault, and defamation

Obie Sorrell

Kristi Mitchell and Veronica Cobb have filed a lawsuit against their supervisor, Obie Sorrell, a State Farm insurance agent based in Baltimore.  The women have accused Sorrell of sexual harassment, assault, and defamation, and are seeking at least $4 million in punitive damages from Sorrell and State Farm Annuity and Life Insurance Co.

The women claim that Sorrell repeatedly subjected them to sexual taunts, crude language, unwanted and sexually suggestive physical contact, and a hostile work environment.

The day after the lawsuit was filed, a State Farm spokesperson said that the company takes “any allegations of this nature seriously and will be thoroughly investigating the matter.”

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UK boss who advocates great workplaces found guilty of workplace bullying

Glenda Stone

The Central London Employment Tribunal ordred Glenda Stone to compensate several former employees after the tribunal found that Stone had bullied them in a “dictatorial and intimidating” manner. 

Glenda Stone is the CEO of a recruitment company called Aurora Gender Management that, ironically, runs the annual Where Women Want to Work Top 50 list.  Stone is also the co-chairman of the Women’s Enterprise Task Force, an organization which strives to encourage and support women in business.

Three former employees testified that Stone created a hostile work environment and that she fired them after they accused Stone of being a bully.  The employment tribunal ruled that Stone must pay David Collier, a former employee at Aurora, £28,567.17 for having wrongfully terminated him. 

Janette King, Stone’s former personal assistant, said that she was fired by e-mail when she confronted her boss about being a bully.  Marianna Karas, 35, another former employee, said, “Glenda was controlling and her approach to management was bullyish, intimidating and inflexible.”

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