Breaking news: a staff masseur at Google’s Manhattan headquarters has filed a lawsuit against the Internet giant for sexual harassment and retaliation. Google, famous for offering employees cushy amenities such as massages and haircuts, has not yet commented on the accusations.
According to the lawsuit, Elvis Gardin, of Edison, N.J., was first hired in 2008 to massage Google staffers. He claims he had a spotless employee record until he complained about an engineer who engaged in masturbation during a workplace massage session. Within his federal court suit, Gardin says he was subjected to unwanted sexual advances and harassment. Gardin alleges his supervisors did nothing to stop the lewd behavior.
Gardin also claims he was terminated in 2011 because of “false and malicious write-ups” that followed his complaint, while he was on a leave of absence to tend to his sick mother.
He also notes that he is openly gay and that the masseur who replaced him was heterosexual.
Gardin is seeking unspecified damages for back pay, citing harassment, retaliation and violation of the Family Medical Leave Act.
Google frequently ranks amongst the highest companies for employee satisfaction. They made it to the top of Forbes’ 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2012.
Sexual harassment at a large corporation
Everyone knows Google’s name but that doesn’t mean they have a license to let their employees act inappropriately at work. Time will tell if the accusations are founded, but employers have the duty to protect their employees from harassment. In particular, a corporation giant such as Google has the resources to secure adequate training programs and impose appropriate sanctions on harassers.
Not only is sexual harassment illegal in New York City but firing someone for reporting harassment is also illegal. If you have been the victim of retaliation, harassment or discrimination, speak with a New York lawyer right away. You may be entitled to compensation.
The lawyers at Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handle a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation or email at