Des Moines, IA- In the workplace and on the streets, sexual harassment is common. Some cases involve what could be described as milder incidents, repeated request for sex, unwanted touches, leering, or pornographic jokes. But some cross the line, some harassers are depraved and commit disgusting acts no one should have to endure in the workplace.
1) Cheektowaga, New York, Sewer Maintenance Department
Last November, Lisa Sprada, one of the few—and by few, we mean two– women working for the sewer maintenance department in Cheektowaga, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit after she endured years of sexual harassment from her male coworkers.
While many of the allegations included in Sprada’s suit are typical behaviors observed by sexual harassment attorneys. There were repeated and persistent requests for sex, lewd jokes, some inappropriate touches, but some of her male coworker’s actions were downright shocking.
Before she started with maintenance, when she was a typist, she was warned that some of her future coworkers had bad habits. One coworker in particular has a habit of masturbating in the work trucks; his bosses knew, his coworkers knew a Sprada knew, yet, no one stopped him.
One day, Sprada, in an effort to make light of the situation, made a comment to the man about getting back to work while he was pleasuring himself. His response was to finish the deed in her truck, later telling her that he left something in there for her. What he left was a deposit of his semen right there on the floor of her vehicle.
On top of that, Sprada’s masturbating coworker begged her for oral sex and tell her about the sexual fantasies he had of her, and in another incident he unzipped his pants and tried to shove her head into his crotch.
2) Christian Recovery Program- San Diego, California
Recovering addicts are a vulnerable, and when it comes to sexual harassment, the more vulnerable a person the more easily they can be taken advantage of. That’s exactly what several women allege David Powers of ABC Sober Living, in San Diego, California, did to young women who sought help for their drug problems. Several women who entered the treatment facility reported a number of disturbing incidents from Powers and one person characterized the facility as a “cesspool of sin.”
One 20 year-old women, who was trying to kick a heroin habit, had a number of disturbing run-ins with Powers. She alleges that soon after she entered a 90-day recovery program, Powers began talking about the “sexual tension” between them.
A few months later, as she was sleeping, Powers entered her room and got on top of her and began kissing her neck and fondling her buttocks. After that he repeatedly showed up at her room uninvited and unannounced.
But it got much, much worse. One afternoon while the young woman was at one of Powers’ properties for an event, he approached her, penetrated her with his fingers and placed her hands on his penis, asking her to arouse him, Buzzfeed reported.
Because Powers also handled grievances at program’s different locations, there was no one his victims could report his disgusting behavior to. The women allege that Powers and his wife tried to keep them silent by making threats.
3) Aaron’s Rents- St. Louis, Missouri
It was 2005 and Ashley Alford was 20 when she got a job at the rent-to-own retailer in the St. Louis. Soon after she landed the customer service representative position, her supervisor started making lewd and inappropriate comments to her. He nicknamed her “Trixie,” and over the next year his harassment became more aggressive. It started with groping and pinching but shortly devolved into assaults.
One day while Alford was in a stockroom bent over on the floor, her supervisor came up behind her and hit her over the head with his penis! That’s bad enough but that isn’t the most depraved thing he did to her. In another incident, just one year after she began her job, Alford’s supervisor pulled her into a stock room, threw her to the ground He then lifter her shirt and began to masturbate on top of her as he held her down.
The supervisor was fired and arrested for the assault, but because Atlanta-based Aaron’s Rents did nothing about the harassment early on, they were forced to pay Alford $95 million.
All of these cases remind us of how out of control sexual harassment can get if an employer doesn’t do anything to stop it as soon as is arises. Harassed employees typically endure the behavior for months, sometimes years, before they consult with a sexual harassment attorney or even think about a lawsuit. If their employers fail them, they, rightfully, have to answer for not protecting their employees.