Boss Fires Manager Claiming Harassment — After He Sent Her Porn

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By Eric B. Meyer

A long-time county employee in Florida, who served as HR Manager, is set to file a federal discrimination complaint against her former employer, claiming that she was sexually harassed at work and later fired after complaining.

The employer claims that it fired the employee for making false sexual discrimination claims to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

And then there’s the porn and dirty texts … which the employee’s boss admits sending … to the employee …like 40 times…

Interest piqued? I thought so. Click through to the rest …

Boss says he was “porn swapping”

Bill Varian at the Tampa Bay Times reports that the employee’s boss admits emailing “graphic sexual content and pornographic links. He said it was mutual, with both initiating pornographic exchanges while he was married and she was single.”

In her EEOC complaint, the employee claimed that her boss also sent her a picture of his genitals. The boss denies that. Because that would be disgusting. Instead, he kept it more tasteful (thick sarcasm here):

He emphasized that what he characterized as porn swapping occurred during non-work hours and on personal cell phones or computers. Many of the more than 40 examples from November 2007 to February 2009 submitted as part of complaint were sent before 7:30 a.m., or on Sundays, and were sent from a personal email account.”

When the wife of the boss gets involved

This is my favorite part of  the Tampa Bay Times article:

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The last batch went out a week after Filippone reported receiving the following email from Turner in February 2009: “Major problem at home. I will contact you asap. Donna (his wife) tracked your number to you. Blame me for anything.”

Turner said the email was sent after Filippone sent him a series of texts that were “very graphic in nature” while he was at dinner with his wife. He said he didn’t fully delete the text from his phone, and his wife found it. She was not happy, but Turner says no retaliation occurred against Filippone.”

Fully delete the text from his phone?!? Guh?!?

Victims usually keep the evidence

Oh, this post has a point. Whereas (alleged) harassers may be stupid enough to keep them, victims never delete the text messages. Keep that in kind next time you learn that one of your managers has been accused of sexual harassment via text message or personal email.

And if you think employees swapping porn and nasty messages off-the-clock doesn’t make it your problem, think again. They may be using a company-issued hand-held smartphone. Plus, that stuff finds a way of otherwise bleeding into the workplace.

So, if you receive a complaint from an employee about inappropriate messages via email, text, or social media, get copies, investigate, and put a stop to it.

This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.

You know that scientist in the action movie who has all the right answers if only the government would just pay attention? Eric B. Meyer, Esq. gets companies HR-compliant before the action sequence. Serving clients nationwide, Eric is a Partner at FisherBroyles, LLP, which is the largest full-service, cloud-based law firm in the world, with approximately 210 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Eric is also a volunteer EEOC mediator, a paid private mediator, and publisher of The Employer Handbook (www.TheEmployerHandbook.com), which is pretty much the best employment law blog ever. That, and he's been quoted in the British tabloids. #Bucketlist.

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