We’ve covered a lot of unbelievable workplace behavior. This case may be the worst.
(Warning: Graphic content ahead.)
Vanessa Hernandez worked for Brand FX Company, Inc., in Pocahontas, IA.
Several months after she was hired, Hernandez began being sexually harassed by a forklift driver named Phil West. West:
- propositioned Hernandez for oral sex
- told Hernandez the length of his penis
- showed Hernandez a picture of his penis on his phone, and
- told Hernandez that if he was “f—–g her” she would be in a better mood and “not such a b—h.”
Hernandez complained to her supervisor, Rick Yetmar. His response? That Hernandez should go ahead and f–k West.
So Hernandez took her complaint to another supervisor. After she did so, West became verbally aggressive, yelling and swearing at Hernandez.
Hernandez then went to HR to complain. The HR manager said that if it was up to her, she’d fire West — after all, other female employees had complained as well. But no action was taken.
A little ‘girl-on-girl action’
Next, Yetmar began harassing Hernandez, saying he hired her because she was a “real b—h.”
And after Hernandez had a verbal altercation with another employee, Yetmar told her that he’d love to see a little “girl on girl action” and that he’d provide the Jell-O and sell tickets.
Hernandez again complained to HR, this time about Yetmar’s behavior. When Yetmar found out, he screamed at Hernandez for her “childish behavior.”
The harassment continued and Hernandez eventually quit.
Brought back — only to be fired
The next day, the plant manager called Hernandez and and personally asked her to come back to work, promising he’d deal with the harassment.
Shortly thereafter, Hernandez was walking behind a male co-worker in the workplace when another male colleague yelled, “Look out, Joe. She’s going to f–k you with her strap-on.”
Hernandez once again complained to HR, but nothing was done. She then told HR she planned to hire legal counsel and file a sexual harassment lawsuit. One week later, she was terminated.
What the court said
Hernandez then filed suit. The court stated that Hernandez was subjected to a continuing pattern of severe, pervasive and unwelcome sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.
The court continued: “… the Plaintiff has in the past and will in the future suffer mental and emotional harm and anguish, and has in the past and will in the future suffer loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, benefits, and other enjoyments of employment. The Defendant acted with malicious and reckless disregard for Plaintiff’s federally protected rights.”
Case closed — as soon as the company pays Hernandez an as-yet-undetermined amount of money to compensate her for her injuries.
The case is Hernandez v. Brand FX Body Co., Inc.