$101,000 fine for placing porn in co-worker’s Bible

A Kansas City jury decided this week that placing pornographic pictures in a worker’s Bible, plus other unwelcome actions, constituted harassment meriting a $101,000 award.

A four-day trial in U.S. District Court produced a $1,000 compensatory award and $100,000 in punitive damages for Cindy Johnston, who worked in Garden City, Mo.

Attorneys for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and private attorney Brad Kavanaugh represented Johnston in her claim against Garden City Plastics Equipment and Supply Co. Inc. and Plastic Packaging Concepts Inc., two interrelated companies.

Mike Ketchmark, a partner in Kavanaugh’s law firm, said the jury agreed that Johnston’s supervisors at Plastic Packaging Concepts had engaged in sexual harassment and that her complaints to management were not handled correctly.

The lawsuit said the harassment began in June 2002 and ended when Johnston was terminated in January 2003.

Charles Weedman, attorney for the company, said that the facts of the case were “highly disputed” and that the companies would have no comment beyond that.

EEOC officials said the agency would file a motion for injunctive relief that would require the two companies to adopt sexual harassment policies and training.

“These companies ignored the victim’s complaints and failed to punish the harassers,” said Robert Johnson, regional attorney for the EEOC.

Johnson said the case, though it involved a relatively small monetary amount, was notable because it is fairly rare for such civil cases to reach jury trials in federal court.

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Kansas City Star, USA
Aug. 26, 2006
Diane Stafford
www.kansascity.com

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday August 30, 2006.
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