A North Carolina woman is suing a national organization, contending her former boss sexually harassed her during her employment at a state chapter of the group.
She is seeking at least $15 million for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the lawsuit, which was filed in Durham, North Carolina. The woman also named her former boss in the suit, which says the national organization did nothing to stop his alleged behavior.
The lawsuit says the woman started her job at the local chapter in January 2017 and worked there for about 18 months. Now 27, the woman said she first began to fear her 60-year-old boss just a month into her employment. During a closed-door meeting, the man “kept looking her up and down in a sexual and intimidating manner,” according to the lawsuit.
Similar actions, which included touching, continued to occur until the boss’ sudden resignation in June 2017. But even after he left the organization, he appeared at organization events, and the woman was there.
An outside investigation concluded in October 2017 proved her allegations, and a report was forwarded to the national group, but it took no action, according to the lawsuit.
The woman went public with her allegations in a news conference and said she wrote to the president of the national group, who never responded. She has said she has developed anxiety, nervousness, depression and insomnia.
After the news conference, the former boss wrote an email that said he never intentionally harassed anyone but that in retrospect he saw his actions “may have been received as sexual.”
We all have a right to go to a workplace free of harassment. All employees who believe they have been victims of harassment may seek legal recourse if their employer does nothing to stop negative actions.