Janitorial Worker Subjected to Sexual Harassment by Two Co-Workers

Plaintiff worked as a janitor in a Bay Area corporation, and alleged she was subjected to sexual harassment by two of her co-workers over the course of several months. The harassment included requests for sex, slapping Plaintiff’s buttocks, and exposure by one co-worker of his penis. Plaintiff complained to Human Resources several times, putting the company on notice of the harassment. The first time, no investigation whatsoever was done; the company claimed it did not think it was a “formal” complaint so they did not feel obligated to respond. The second time she complained a grossly inadequate investigation occurred which resulted in a verbal warning to one harasser and no discipline at all to the other. The perpetrators did not even receive sexual harassment training and remained working in their same positions in and around the Plaintiff. She was so distraught she was forced to take a medical leave and resign. Winer, McKenna, & Burritt were able to settle this case for the Plaintiff by showing that the corporation effectively adopted the harassing behavior of the perpetrators by failing to train them and by failing to conduct an effective investigation and stop the conduct.