Tag Archives: retaliation

Lost actor Henry Ian Cusick settles hostile work environment lawsuit

Attorneys announced that the parties settled the hostile work environment lawsuit that was filed against Lost actor Henry Ian Cusic, ABC Entertainment, and production company Grass Skirt Entertainment.  The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

A former ABC production employee, Chelsea Stone, had sued Henry Ian Cusic and ABC for sexual harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.  In October 2007, Shone accused the actor of groping and kissing her “while making moaning sounds.”

After she complained to supervisors, ABC and Grass Skirt Entertainment allegedly did nothing while Cusic and other employees created a hostile work environment for Stone, who was subsequently fired 12 days after having complained about Cusic’s harassment.

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Hostile work envrionment complaints filed against Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam

Washington State’s Pierce County is investigating six complaints filed by employees against Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam that claim he has abused his authority, wasted public money, and created a hostile work environment.

The complaints include two that accused Washam of discrimination, retaliation, and unfair labor practices.

Administrative officer Sally Barnes accused the assessor-treasurer of discriminating against her because of her age and gender and retaliating against her for complaining about religious references that Washam made at the office.

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Louisville Animal Services director sued for sexual harassment and retaliation

Dawn Simpson, a former animal-care manager at the Louisville Metro Animal Services Center, has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Animal Services Director Gilles Meloche for creating a “toxic, intolerable and hostile work environment” from which “she had no choice but to resign.”

Meloche’s assistant, Wayne Zelinsky, was also named in the suit for retaliating against Simpson after she filed the sexual harassment complaint.  Simpson’s requests for time off were then allegedly ignored, she was unfairly disciplined, and she had duties and responsibilities taken away.

Simpson’s lawsuit claims that Meloche’s harassment started three days after she started working for the department.  She says Meloche repeatedly touched her stomach and lower back in a “sexually suggestive/flirting manner.”

After Simpson complained about the harassment to Zelinsky, he allegedly took no action other than telling her that Meloche “doesn’t understand the concept of personal space.”

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Sexual harassment lawsuit filed against California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen has been sued by a former employee at its Palo Alto restaurant who claims she was subjected to sexual harassment and abusive behavior by her supervisor, Andy Lee, then retaliated against when she complained to management.

The lawsuit states that Lee had informed the plaintiff that he had prior sexual harassment complaints filed against him.  Lee allegedly began harassing the employee almost immediately after she was hired, and California Pizza Kitchen failed to stop the workplace bullying when company managers were informed about Lee’s abusive behavior. 

Instead, the lawsuit claims that the victim was illegally retaliated against by CPK, and she was targeted for wrongful termination.

“It’s outrageous that California Pizza Kitchen would not take sexual harassment complaints by its female employees seriously, especially when the harasser is a manager and multiple witnesses confirm the sexual harassment.” said the plaintiff’s lawyer, Kelly Armstrong. “This tells me that either California Pizza Kitchen does not care about protecting its employees or is unfamiliar with sexual harassment law.”

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UMD instructor Rod Raymond investigated for sexual harassment and creating hostile work environment

Following complaints by numerous women about a pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior by University of Minnesota Duluth fitness instructor Rod Raymond, the UMD Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity conducted an investigation.

In her investigation, UMD director Deborah Petersen-Perlman heard from numerous women who said that Raymond made sexual advances toward them in “a pattern of sexually inappropriate language and behavior.”  Raymond also allegedly retaliated against some of the women complained about his harassment.

Rod Raymond

Rod Raymond

Petersen-Perlman’s July 2009 report concluded that “by not taking a strong stand against this behavior, we place UMD in a vulnerable position vis-à-vis a lawsuit with respect to sexual harassment.”

Though Petersen-Perlman’s investigation recommended that Raymond be fired for creating “a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment,” UMD administrators chose to allow Raymond to keep his job, where he still teaches today, and to limit their actions to a few light sanctions.

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Kansas congressional candidate sued for creating hostile work environment

Ann Rollins Johnson, the former director of the Salina Housing Authority in Kansas, filed a lawsuit against congressional candidate Alan Jilka for allegedly making sexual advances towards Johnson and then trying to get her fired for refusing Jilka’s sexual advances

Congressional Candidate Alan Jilka

Congressional Candidate Alan Jilka

The federal lawsuit, filed on October 13, alleges that Jilka subjected Johnson to “severe, pervasive and ongoing sexual harassment by and through a hostile work environment based on her sex or gender because she would not become involved romantically” with Jilka.

Alan Jilka is a former Salina mayor and city commissioner who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Kansas congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Jerry Moran.

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Former NY Psychiatric Center employee awarded $580,000 in hostile work environment lawsuit

The Central New York Psychiatric Center was ordered to pay Christine Bergerson $580,000 for subjecting her to a hostile work environment and for terminating her after she complained about the sexual harassment that she had endured.

Bergerson, who is white, began dating a black coworker while she was employed at the center as a security hospital treatment assistant.  Bergerson alleged in her lawsuit that other coworkers had a problem with her interracial relationship and therefore bullied and harassed her.

The court documents said that the jury found the workplace bullying to be “so severe or pervasive … that it would interfere with her work performance.”

Bergerson’s attorney Norman Deep said that “Christine was put through hell and she had to relive during this trial everything that had occurred to her. We hope that this will send a clear message that in this country you cannot take into the workplace and use your prejudice against individuals working — that women in the workplace deserve to be treated in the same manner that men are.”

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