Category Archives: bullying

Dave’s Supermarket sued by EEOC for sexual harassment

Last September, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Cleveland-based Dave’s Supermarket, accusing a meat department manager of repeatedly sexually harassing female employees and accusing upper management of knowing about the bullying and not taking steps to prevent it.

The EEOC claims that Dave’s Supermarket manager Jugo Vidic subjected female employees to a hostile work environment permeated with sexual harassment that included making repeated, unwanted sexual advances on female employees as well as exposing himself to his female coworkers.

Dave’s Supermarket Chairman Burt Saltzman said, “We don’t think there’s any merit to (the lawsuit), and it’s under investigation.”  Saltzman also said that Vidic still works at the store.

Dave’s is a Cleveland-based grocery store chain which operates 13 stores in Northern Ohio, employing more that 1,500 employees.

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EEOC sues Jack in the Box California franchisee for sexual harassment

Kobra Associates Inc., a Jack in the Box franchisee which owns about 70 restaurants in Northern and Central California, was sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for failing to take corrective action to stop a manager from sexually harassing his female employees.

Richard Bartels, the manager of the Jack in the Box restaurant in Paradise, California, was named in the EEOC lawsuit.  Bartels allegedly created a hostile work environment and subjected female workers under his supervision to unwelcome sexual advances and frequent remarks about their anatomy.

Though the female employees repeatedly complained about the sexual harassment through multiple avenues, including leaving messages with Jack in the Box’s ethics hotline, the lawsuit alleges that the company did not act to stop Bartels’ abusive behavior, which continued for more than one year.

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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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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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CEO Doctor at Munster’s Medical Specialists sued for sexual harassment

Sally Gibbs, former CEO of Munster’s Medical Specialists Centers of Indiana, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company’s current CEO, Dr. Alex Stemer.  Gibbs has accused Alex Stemer of making unwanted sexual advances and then firing her after she refused his advances.

Gibbs claims that Stemer made frequent unwelcome sexual remarks the entire time she worked with him and that he tried to kiss her on at least one occassion.  After she rejected his attempt to kiss her, Gibbs alleges that Stemer stormed off angrily.  The lawsuit mentions one instance where Stemer allegedly told Gibbs, “I can feel your blood running through my veins,” and “our organs should be connected.”

In the lawsuit, Gibbs has also accused Stemer of planning “to obtain higher Medicare reimbursement rates by falsifying medical records and by billing for services that were not actually provided.”

Gibbs alleges that she was fired in 2008 in retaliation for refusing Stemer’s sexual advances and for opposing his plans to commit Medicare fraud.

Before filing this lawsuit, Gibbs filed a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After the EEOC did not act on her claim within the required 180 days, it approved Gibbs’ request to file a private lawsuit. 

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