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Staged robbery causes legal trouble for water district management

There are certain things that businesses in the state of Indiana should test its employees on such as what skills they possess, how well they perform on a daily basis, or how well they get along with coworkers and management. But according to a lawsuit out of California, testing the preparedness of workers during a robbery is not one of them.

According to the lawsuit, female workers at a water district office claim that four of their managers conspired with one another and formed a plan to stage an armed robbery to test the reactions of the district's workers.

But instead of test all of the workers, according to the complaint, management only tested the female workforce, making sure that all male employees were working outside of the office on the day of the "robbery."

On the day in question, female employees were frightened when a masked assailant entered the lobby and demanded that money be placed in a bag. Shakily, one of the female workers complied, after which the man left. But before anyone had a chance to call the police, managers entered the lobby and explained that the robbery had all been an "exercise."

Many people feel that the company knowingly discriminated against its female employees by not including the male employees in the staged robbery, which seems to violate the Civil Rights Act if 1964.

According to the lawsuit, many of the female employees have suffered from insomnia, nightmares, and depression because of the event and are constantly being "subjected to the unwanted and humiliating attention by the press and ridicule of various members of the public." They seek punitive damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and violating state anti-discrimination laws.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Worker Says 'Test' Robbery Devastated Her," Rebekah Kearn, Aug. 28, 2012

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