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2 women file sexual harassment lawsuit against employer

In most states, including Indiana, employees have the right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. It was reported on Jan. 20, however, that two Vermont women filed a lawsuit against their former employer claiming that they were fired after complaining about unrelenting sexual harassment.

The lawsuit was filed in a Vermont court in December against FireCo LLC, a company responsible for raising money for an organization called the Professional Firefighters of Vermont. The two women also named a secondary company that was contracted by FireCo and two male coworkers as defendants in the lawsuit.

One of the women started working at the company in 2007 under a different manager. After a new manager was brought in, she claimed that the harassment started. She was ultimately fired after making numerous complaints. The second woman was reportedly hired in her place. The woman was asked to tell an investigator that no sexual harassment occurred at the office shortly after being hired. Once the investigator left, however, she claimed that the harassment against her started. She reportedly kept documentation and evidence of the harassment, which included text messages from one of the defendants, cartoons and lewd word games that had been written on donor cards by some of the male salespeople in the office.

Employees who are experiencing continual sexual harassment from their bosses or coworkers often fail to report the incidences due to fear of termination or retaliation. If an employee does report sexual harassment and is fired, an attorney may assist the person with filing a sexual harassment claim against those involved. In most cases, this includes the employees or supervisors who are actually involved in the harassment and the company that is responsible for the employees.

Source: USA Today, "Suit alleges sexual harassment at Vermont business," Dan D'Ambrosio, Jan. 20, 2015

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