Category Archives: bully

The EEOC sues M. Slavin & Sons fish market for ‘horrendous’ male on male sexual harassment

 

M. Slavin & Sons

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against M. Slavin & Sons, a fish market and retailer based in Brooklyn, for creating a hostile work environment for black male employees that included physical and verbal sexual harassment. 

In addition, the EEOC accused bosses at M. Slavin & Sons of making obscene and racist comments towards employees that included company owner Mitchell Slavin telling a black employee to “Go get it, n—-r.”  The complaint states that another manager called an employee “African bastard” and said, “Let me see you run like you are in Africa.”

The shocking male on male sexual harassment allegations accuse Barry Slavin, Jack Slavin, and Julio Pereira of “regularly grabbing or pinching male employees’ buttocks and pushing their penises against employees’ buttocks.”  Chuck Clayton, another boss at M. Slavin, is accused of “frequently jabbing fish hooks into male employees’ buttocks.”

The lawsuit alleges that a number of employees left their positions because of the harassment and that the man who originally complained faced retaliation.

Sunu P. Chandy, an attorney in the EEOC’s New York office, said, “The stunning facts of this case remind us of an ugly time in our nation’s history.  The actions of these white owners, who subjected particularly men of color to horrendous physical sexual harassment and racial comments, must be challenged.  When the employees said that they would fight back against the abuse, the owners consistently told them that no one would listen to their complaints and that no one would believe them.  This suit shows the owners were wrong.”

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Washington State Community College president accused of being a bully

Charlotte Hatfield

Two former employees at Washington State Community College said that the college’s president, Charlotte Hatfield, has bullied employees in an “intimidating” and “demeaning” manner in the seven years that she has worked at the school.

Susan Bayles, the college’s former HR director, said that her reasons for quitting in April 2008 were “routine contempt,” “berating,” and harm to her “emotional and spiritual health” that resulted from Hatfield’s workplace bullying.  Bayles also said that the community college “would qualify as a hostile work environment.”

While at WSCC, Bayles said that she would receive complaints from employees about Hatfield’s abusive behavior on a daily basis.  “There was a real fear there. Folks would leave her office in tears and come to me as the human resources director – and these were not overly sensitive people.”

The former dean of enrollment management, Ann Hontz, said that she suffered mental and emotional abuse from Hatfield.  Though Hontz left the college last summer after working there for 21 years, she said that she still hears from current employees who complain about Hatfield’s toxic behavior.

Despite all of the evidence pointing to the hostile work environment at Washintgon State Community College, the college’s Board of Trustees voted to renew Hatfield’s employment contract through 2011.

In a prepared response to the workplace bullying accusations, Charlotte Hatfield said, “Washington State is known in the community as an excellent place to work.”

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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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Media company GDS International sued for sex and religious discrimination

Lobna Abdelrehim, a 26-year-old Egyptian-American employee at GDS International, has filed a lawsuit against the media company alleging gender and religious discrimination and for retaliation after she objected to the alleged workplace discrimination.

Lobna Abdelrehim

Abdelrehim’s lawsuit states that she has been subjected to an “overtly and disturbing sexually hostile work environment” at GDS International’s Wall Street offices. The complaint describes a workplace that is “rife with unwelcome sex-based bodily contact, such as hugs, patting, and face and forehead kissing.”

Abdelrehim alleges that sexually inappropriate company-wide emails referring to topics such as “MILFs” were regularly distributed.  In addition, her lawsuit claims that she and other saleswomen were given “overtly sexist and demeaning sales propaganda, exhorting [them] to use their feminine wiles as a sale closing technique.” 

For example, one company memo was entitled “Using your SEX to Sell and the Boulevard to Bombshell Bitchiness,” which included tips for female employees to “flirt to get what [you] want” and how female employees “can get away with being aggressive because its sexy.”

Abdelrehim, a Muslim, also claims that religious discrimination against Muslims was common at GDS International.  For example, emails were circulated among employees “depicting men in Muslim garb as raging homicidal terrorists.”

After Abdelrehim complained to the HR manager about the hostile work environment, she alleges that company management “made no attempt to credibly investigate, let alone redress,” her complaints.  Instead, she claims that she was retaliated against for having complained by being demoted shortly afterwards, and she was told that she would be fired if she didn’t achieve an extremely high and “unrealistic” sales quota.

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Employee files lawsuit after bosses ridicule her for celebrating Thanksgiving

Promila Awasthi, an Indian-born American citizen who works at Infosys as a computer consultant, filed a lawsuit on Monday that accuses her bosses of subjecting her to a hostile work environment that included being ridiculed Awasthi for celebrating American holidays like Thanksgiving and not being compensated for overtime hours worked.

Awasthi, who worked at the Infosys office in Fremont, CA from February to November 2008, described the working conditions there as being “intolerable.”  Infosys is one of the large India-based technology outsourcing companies that has recently been expanding its presence in the US to try to halt criticism that these firms are outsourcing American jobs overseas.

The lawsuit alleges that Infosys bosses routinely criticized Americans, including Awasthi, for not having “family values,” and they stated that layoffs in America are good because those jobs will then be outsourced.   Awasthi claims that her managers told her that she should not be celebrating Thanksgiving because she is Indian, and they insisted that she work on Thanksgiving Day.

Infosys management also allegedly harassed Awasthi and her children for celebrating Thanksgiving and called them derogatory terms such as “ABCD,” which stands for “American-Born Confused Desi,” which is used to mock people of Indian ancestry who identify with and have integrated into American culture.

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Virginia law firm sued for discrimination and sexual harassment following “cucumber incident”

A Vietnamese former employee at Williams Mullen, a large law firm based in Richmond, Virginia, has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the firm, accusing it of discrimination and sexual harassment.

The lawsuit states that Robert Eicher, a partner at Williams Mullen, “repeatedly engaged in inappropriate sexual behaviors and made ethnic slurs.  Shortly after (Hanh Nguyen) Allgood’s hire, Eicher approached Allgood in her cubicle, introduced himself and asked if she was from Viet Nam. When Allgood responded in the affirmative, he then gestured toward her genital area and asked whether her vagina was horizontal or vertical.”

Robert Eicher

In what the lawsuit refers to as the “cucumber incident,” Eicher allegedly put a cucumber in his pants pocket and then hugged and pressed the cucumber up against Allgood’s thigh desipte her attempts to pull away from him.  Allgood complained to management and other employees, several of whom told her that they were also victims of the cucumber incident.

The complaint states that Eicher “often walked around the firm dressed as a doctor showing his gloves and asking female staff if they wanted to be ‘examined.’  Eicher also had several sexual relationships with employees and publicly described his sexual encounters with them.”

Douglas Nabhan, another Williams Mullen partner, often made racially derogatory comments about Allgood’s meals insinuating that she prepared her food with dog and cat meat.  Nabhan also referred to Allgood’s ex-husband as “the wet back” because he is Hispanic.

Douglas Nabhan

Allgood claims that no action was taken by the firm to address her complaints of sexual harassment.  As a result, the sexually hostile work environment allegedly became worse for Allgood.  Moreover, the firm allegedly carried out a campaign of retaliation against Allgood as a result of her complaints, and she was ultimately fired in March 2007.

This is not the first workplace bullying lawsuit that was filed by employees against Williams Mullen.  Last year, seven former and current employees filed discrimination complaints with the EEOC claiming a hostile work environment.

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