Mankato, MN– Jack Link’s, a Wisconsin-based beef jerky maker has been ordered to pay a former female employee $50,000 after she was being repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment from a male coworker.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the female employee at the center of the case began working for the company in 2012 as a lead line worker. Almost immediately after she took the job, one of her supervisors began making sexual advances towards and comments about her body.
She also alleges he made unwanted and inappropriate comments about her body and asked her about her love life. The woman alleges the harassment occurred daily, about “every 10 to 15 minutes,” and went on for a few months, according to the Tribune. She alleged the man would follow her on her breaks, inquiring about her personal life and relationship status.
After two months of the harassment, the woman complained to her supervisors who first retaliated by giving her less desirables work assignments.
The woman’s allegations are not that unique but this case is unusual in that Jack Link’s took immediate action and disciplined the harasser, only to give him a promotion later on. At first the man was suspended for two days, but upon his return, the man was promoted to be the woman’s direct supervisor, giving him even more opportunity to harass her.
After four months of working at the factory, the woman quit, stating she could no longer tolerate the sexual harassment. She then took her complaint to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights who negotiated for a settlement on her behalf.
Victims of sexual harassment often ignore the abusive behavior because they worry they will be punished for speaking out. They don’t think their employer will take their allegations seriously and reporting will only make things worse for them. This is often true, but that doesn’t mean the victim should ignore the harassment or just tolerate it. Ignoring sexual harassment or workplace discrimination only makes matters worse, so a person facing workplace harassment is urged to contact a sexual harassment attorney near their location to discuss their case and determine if they qualify for financial compensation.
Once the harasser is asked to stop their abusive behavior, the target should report the behavior to their employer. That is Sexual harassment victims shouldn’t be afraid to report harassment because they fear retaliation but they do mainly because it happens in the majority of cases. Being fired for standing up for yourself is never a good thing, but employees who experience it have a legal recourse they can pursue.
USAttorneys has a number of sexual harassment attorneys who will stand up for an employee’s rights are ensure their employers take the appropriate actions. If you’ve been retaliated against, a sexual harassment attorney can help the victim recover their lost wages along with compensation for their emotional distress. They will stand up for your rights and work hard to ensure their clients are fairly compensated.