A sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the EEOC against Whirlpool ended with the judge ordering Whirpool to compensate the victim for failing to protect her from extensive and ongoing harassment by a male coworker.
During the trial, 56-year-old Whirlpool employee Willie Baker repeatedly made inappropriate racial and sexual comments toward the victim, Carlotta Freeman, over a period of several months, at then end of which Baker punched Freeman in the face.
Freeman, who worked for Whirlpool for more than 16 years on an assembly line in Tennessee, claimed to have reported the racial and sexual harassment on a number of occassions. Her lawyers claimed that although numerous managers were aware of the hostile work environment, the company failed to take the necessary steps to stop Baker’s abusive behavior.
As a result of the harassment, Freeman has suffered serious psychological injuries that include, as her attorney describes, “probably…the worst case of post traumatic stress disorder you’ve ever seen.”
Baker was fired and was later convicted of assault in criminal court.