Tag Archives: bad boss

Texas oilfield service company pays $60,000 to settle race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit

In September, the EEOC announced that an oilfield service company based in Alice, Texas as agreed to pay $60,000 to settle a race discrimination and retaliation lawsuit.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit against the company after it investigated complaints by a white worker who was discriminated against by his Hispanic managers because of his race.  After the worker complained to the HR department about the harassment and hostile work environment, the company allegedly fired him in retaliation. 

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Jefferson County administrator fired following discrimination lawsuits

The three commissioners of Colorado’s Jefferson County unanimously voted to fire county admininstrator Jim Moore after he and the county were sued for age- and sex-discrimination by two former employees.

Settling the lawsuits has cost the county $766,000.  The former employees, Judy Goebel and Jerelyn Bower, claimed that Moore created a hostile work environment and then fired them in 2007 because of their age and gender.

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Brigham Hospital surgeon quits after being sued for sex discrimination

Dr. Arthur Day, chairman of the neurosurgery department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has announced that he will resign his position at the end of the month.

In December 2007, Day was sued by one of his employees, neurosurgeon Dr. Sagun Tuli, who alleged that Day subjected her to sex discrimination, a hostile work environment, and retaliation.  Tuli filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and a jury awarded her $1.6 million earlier this year.

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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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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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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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