The Mattress Factory art museum in Pittsburgh faced both sexual harassment and retaliation allegations from four former and current employees. The group of female employees initially accused a co-worker of sexual harassment and physical assault. When the claims were reported to supervisors, little concern arose from their superiors.
In fact, the women alleged that they faced hostility, intimidation, and even threats of job loss at their workplace after they reported the harassment to their supervisors. These actions prompted the group to file charges against their employers through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in September 2018. The charges state that the museum violated federal labor laws when engaging in discriminatory acts against the employees. After several months, which involved an investigation by the NLRB and a separate examination by the board of directors at the museum, a settlement was reached.
Settlement Features Company Culture Changes
Terms of the settlement for the Mattress Factory sexual harassment and retaliation suit include several changes to company culture. The company will now provide mandatory training for employees with improved resources and instruction on sexual harassment and employment protocol. The time for reporting and investigating incidents involving harassment and workplace issues will be reduced, so that more immediate action will be taken to resolve issues. An explanation of what constitutes retaliation will be made clearer to employers and employees to avoid confusion and create accountability. Furthermore, they created a new in-house human resources position to oversee personnel issues and will be hiring someone to fill the open slot.
Alleged Abuser Put on Leave
As for the employee who allegedly sexually harassed and committed physical assaults against the coworkers who filed a complaint, he was removed from his position as Executive Director in September and placed on leave. According to the Acting Director, whose contract expired in mid-January, the offender remains on leave.
Fear of Retaliation
Unfortunately, many victims of sexual harassment may find it difficult to gather the courage to report their abuser to their supervisors, especially if the offender happens to be in a managerial position. They may fear the possibility of reprisal through acts of intimidation at their workplace. This may include hostility from their supervisors and other employees, poor performance reviews and unnecessary discipline, adverse changes to their jobs, including salary reductions or demotions, and even threats of termination. Unbeknownst to some workers, there is a provision in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that protects employees against workplace retaliation by their employer in a variety of circumstances.
Delaware County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Hold Abusers Accountable for Toxic Behavior
If you experienced sexual harassment at your workplace and subsequent retaliation for reporting the abuse, our Delaware County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. will review your claim. After thoroughly investigating the situation with discretion and compassion, we will formulate a strong case that provides a favorable resolution. Contact us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to arrange a free, confidential consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we represent clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and throughout New Jersey.