$925,000 -- Two Women Bring Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Case Against National Company Selling Home Products --
Plaintiffs in this case were two women, 38-years-old and 48-years-old, who worked for a large national company which sold home products through hundreds of branches throughout the country.
The women claimed that they were sexually harassed and discriminated against by the company; that the entire west coast division of the company had significant problems with a hostile environment from sexual harassment and systematically discriminated against women because it was an "old boys' club" type of company.
Defendants claimed that there was no problem with sexual harassment. The conduct complained of by the plaintiffs (a kiss by a supervisor, several requests for dates, sexual jokes and a brushing of the breasts on one occasion) did not constitute severe and pervasive sexual harassment. They also claimed that there was no discrimination against women, that promotions were based strictly on sales performance.
Through investigation and formal discovery, the Law Offices of Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP was able to establish evidence which tended to indicate that the company had an inadequate policy for reporting sexual harassment in that sexual harassment was to be reported to supervisors or the supervisor's supervisor, all of whom in this case were perpetrating or condoning sexual harassment. Further, evidence indicated that although the company had a human resource department which was eventually supposed to receive reports of sexual harassment from the supervisors, it never did receive reports because that would require the supervisors turning themselves in, which they obviously would never do. Further, there was no local human resource department; therefore, west coast employees did not even know there was a human resource department which created an environment in which the west coast male supervisors were able to run free.
Further, the law firm developed evidence that despite the company's claim that there was no discrimination against women, only four women in the western division of the company had ever been promoted to a senior management position (while dozens of men had been promoted to that position) and all four of those women had been demoted, thus creating the inference of gender discrimination.
RESULT: Settlement on behalf of plaintiffs for $925,000.
*Many of the cases that Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, has settled are highly confidential. In order to provide consumers with an accurate list of settlements, we have accurately stated the amount of the settlement and the facts of the case, but we have changed the location of the cases and the industry of the companies we have sued to make the identification of the actual company impossible.