Dooney and Bourke Sued for Harassment

A recent sexual harassment lawsuit may leave an upscale purse manufacturer holding the bag.

In May, suit was filed against Dooney and Bourke in White Plains Federal Court by former employee, Ramona Lester. According to the New York Post, Ms. Lester was hired as a full-time sales representative at the Westchester Mall location of Dooney and Bourke in January of 2012. In September of that year, she was fired after being removed from the work schedule.

Between January and September, Ms. Lester was subjected by her employer to the following treatment:

  • While Ms. Lester stood atop a ladder in the stockroom, store manager Alex Price looked up her skirt. After doing so, Mr. Price stated he “could see everything,” to employees who witnessed the incident.
  • Mr. Price discussed intimate personal details with employees, including Ms. Lester, despite making them uncomfortable when doing so. When Ms. Lester complained to an assistant manager, Mr. Price retaliated against Ms. Lester by altering her job duties from sales representative to janitorial services.
  • Ms. Lester was required to scrub bathrooms and clean toilets.
  • The lawsuit alleges Mr. Price induced another employee to threaten to hit Ms. Lester in the head with a tape gun.

In her lawsuit, Ms. Lester contends Dooney and Bourke, through Mr. Price, engaged in a scheme to make her quit. Although subjected to a hostile workplace, Ms. Lester refused to quit the job until she was fired and thereafter filed suit against the company.

Harassment and the creation of a hostile workplace environment is illegal in New York. When you have questions about sexual harassment, talk to an experienced labor attorney in New York City.

 

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