Category Archives: workplace bullies

Phoenix car dealers pay $500,000 to settle EEOC sexual harassment lawsuit

Phoenix-based car dealerships Bell Road Kia and Bell Road Automall have agreed to pay $500,000 to five former employees to settle a racial and sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the EEOC.

The five employees were all allegedly demoted, terminated, or forced out after they complained about the harassment.  They claim that both dealerships knew about and tolerated a racially and sexually hostile work environment from 2002-2005 where female employees were propositioned for sexual favors and were called derogatory names.

The lawsuit claims that bosses at Bell Road Kia and Bell Road Automall often viewed pornography on company computers, and one manager masturbated while sitting behind a female employee.

The employees also allege that racial harassment and the use of racial slurs was common at the dealerships.  One manager allegedly told a black employee that he was “only needed when there was a black customer so he could speak his ebonics and close the deal.”

Robert Alexander, owner of Bell Road Kia, said, “We have no comment on the settlement or allegations with EEOC. We are family-owned and operated, we strive for a friendly and happy work environment for our employees.”

Robert Alexander and Allen Holzhauer sold the auto mall in 2007, but continue to manage Big Bell Road Kia.

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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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Woman sues dentist boss for sexual harassment

Dr. Richard L. Howard, a dentist at Howard & Howard, DDS, is being sued by a former dental assistant named Tanya Stone, who claims to have been subjected to sexual harassment, discrimination, and a hostile work environment.

Stone alleges that Richard Howard put his hands around her neck and made inappropriate sexual comments to Stone.  She also claims that she was forced to put up with printed, magazine, and electronic pornographic materials.  During her employment at Howard & Howard, DDS in 2006-2007, Stone felt uncomfortable and offended by the sexually hostile work environment.

Stone said that she knows of other women who were subjected to sexual harassment at Howard’s dental office.

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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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Wisconsin IHOP ordered to pay $105,000 to sexual harassment victims

A federal jury has ordered the former owners of the IHOP restaurant in Racine, Wisconsin, to pay two former waitresses $105,000 in punitive damages for having been sexually harassed by their assistant manager.

The EEOC, which filed the lawsuit, said that the two waitresses were subjected to a hostile work environment that included “unwelcome physical touching, propositions for sex, and sexual comments.”  The two waitresses were teenagers at the time that the sexual harassment occurred in 2004 and 2005.

The lawsuit had claimed that the IHOP franchise ignored early complaints of sexual harassment and that the employee who filed the charge of discrimination suffered from retaliation and was fired after she complained about the harassment.

Other waitresses said they faced the same harassment.  They testified that Management Hospitality of Racine, the company that operated the IHOP, failed to correct the situation. The IHOP restaurant at which the servers were harassed was owned by Salauddin Janmohammed, and managed by a management consulting firm, Flipmeastack, which is owned by Janmohammed’s wife.

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Mark Lowe sent female intern ‘vile sexual email’ in Latin

Earlier this month, eBossWatch reported about the sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a female employee against UK-based Nomus Capital and its owner, Mark Lowe.  Among the allegations made by the employee, Jordan Wimmer, is that Lowe brought prostitutes to business meetings.

One of the witnesses in the sexual harassment hearing, Ariane Gordji, testified about an email exchange that she had with Lowe where he sent her a vile message in Latin.

Gordji, an intern in her 20s at Nomus Capital who new about Lowe’s knowledge of an interest in the Latin language, sent him a Biblical quote in Latin which means “love your enemy.”

Lowe responded to Gordji’s email with a quote from the first century Roman poet, Catullus: “Irrumabo vos, et pedicabo vos.”  Not knowing the meaning of this statement, Gordji testified that she ran a search on Google and was “shocked and confused” when she discovered that the quote that Lowe sent her means, “I will sodomize you and face-f**k you.”

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