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Hostile work environment included sex dolls and strippers

Every so often, a legal case will hit the news that makes you wonder how anyone in their right minds thought that what was going on was even remotely acceptable.

That's the case with a recent sexual harassment lawsuit brought against a New Jersey financial firm by several women who, somehow, managed to work there amidst the strip shows and penis birthday cake parties.

The women, who included the ex-director of human resources and a couple of customer service reps, aimed their lawsuit at seven owners and managers of the firm. They say that the company culture was more like that of a sex club than a business:

  • Drugs and alcohol were freely and openly abused at work.
  • Women were hired entirely for their looks and given incentives for dressing in a suggestive manner. At times, they were specifically required to dress in sexually suggestive clothing, like backless dresses and crop tops.
  • Women employees were subjected to actual groping, along with leers and sexual innuendo -- and rewarded for behaving provocatively in response.
  • Women employees were openly pressed for sexual favors by the men and subjected to vulgar critiques of their physical attributes.
  • One of the men hired his mistress, who had limited experience, into a $60,000 salaried position and given a corporate credit card.
  • Older, wealthy male employees would subject younger, less financially-stable female employees to requests for romantic encounters. Women who resisted were shunned or fired.

And that's actually the tamer action in the office. Some of the less-savory acts include things like hiring strippers and a dominatrix for an office party on the company dime and ornamenting the office with "penis-themed" decor.

The defendants were so blatant about the way they ran the company that they would bring a sex doll into the room with a male job candidate to gauge his reaction.

They didn't even care that there were plenty of pictures being taken -- at least not until the lawsuit was filed.

It only took about a day for the lawsuit to be resolved out of court -- while nobody is saying exactly how things turned out, both sides seem to be declaring themselves the victor -- which generally means that an out-of-court settlement was reached.

Don't allow yourself to be victimized by a hostile work environment -- talk to an attorney in order to protect your rights.

Source: New Jersey 101.5, "Sex toys and strippers -- NJ finance firm settles raunchy-office lawsuit," Dan Alexander, Aug. 18, 2017

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