Attorney Courtney Mayo successfully obtained the dismissal of two actions brought by former employees of a local food processing company who both alleged they were subjected to sexual harassment, a hostile work environment, retaliation and discrimination on the basis of sex.
The two female claimants, who were hired as laborers through a staffing agency, alleged that the assembly line leader was unfairly picking on them and giving them “bad jobs” to do. As a result, the two claimants refused to complete the assigned work (labeling boxes) and instead began to shout at the Director of Operations in a threatening manner regarding their displeasure with the line leader. The Director of Operations investigated the claimants’ allegations of unfair treatment and found no witnesses to substantiate the claims. In fact, the Director of Operations was informed that the claimants were refusing to perform routine and required tasks and, therefore, were not meeting the expectations of the company. The claimants were terminated through the staffing agency. Shortly thereafter, the staffing agency notified the defendant company that the claimants had subsequently reported that the line leader had made sexual advances toward each of them. Again, the defendant company launched an investigation into the sexual harassment claims but found no corroborating evidence. Attorney Mayo argued that the claims of sexual harassment were made only after the claimants were terminated and neither had previously reported any instances of sexual harassment to management at any time. Further, Attorney Mayo argued that both claimants had undergone sexual harassment training and were well aware that any instances of sexual harassment must be reported to management immediately. Attorney Mayo argued that the claimants were motivated by anger and their post-termination allegations lacked credibility. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) agreed and found no probable cause against the defendant company. The claimants’ actions were dismissed by MCAD. The claimants had filed concurrent claims with the EEOC. The EEOC also dismissed the claimants’ actions, adopting the findings of MCAD.