High Point-based New Breed Logistics apparently has some old boy problems at its Memphis, Tenn., location. A warehouse supervisor’s misdeeds have now cost the company $1.5 million, plus legal fees, after a federal jury found the company guilty of harassing and firing three female temporary workers.
The same supervisor also fired a male worker who agreed to testify on the women’s behalf.
The jury heard testimony that the supervisor subjected the women to unwelcome sexual touching and lewd, obscene and vulgar sexual remarks at the company’s Memphis warehouse facility. When the women complained, they were fired.
They complained to the EEOC, which tried to mediate the issue with New Breed. When those efforts failed, the EEOC filed suit and the case went to trial. The jury sided with the women and the fired man, awarding $177,094 in back pay, $486,000 in compensatory damages—and $850,000 in punitive damages.
Note: If can’t show you seriously investigated a sexual harassment complaint, just get out your checkbook. You’ll have no defense.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Don't tolerate insubordination, rudeness
- Preventing harassment: not a 'one and done' deal
- Leave off job application any language that limits time frames for employee to sue
- Set up employee complaint hotline to flag managerial abuses—and stop lawsuits