“I did nothing. I am an old fart.” Those are the words that came straight out of the mouth of 90- year-old owner, Jerry Fund. Fund is head of his company – Automatic Meter Reading Corp, and is being accused of sexual harassment by one of his former employees.
48-year-old, Monica Cardenas who was employed by Fund for 13 years resigned from his company, alleging that she had been the victim of sexual harassment. She claims that while she held the position of office manager at Fund’s company he directed sexually explicit and sexist comments towards her; humiliated her and coercively touched her on several occasions; he also would smack her on the buttocks and one time he even shoved a newspaper in her underwear. In a separate incident, he purportedly told her that they could run away together and he would supply the Cialis and Viagra.
But Fund continues to deny all allegations made by Cardenas. He said “I have had many girls who work with me in the office, and no one has ever complained in 30 years. I was happily married to a fantastic woman for 67 years who passed away a year ago.”
An administrative trial in 2014 ruled in favor of Cardenas, with the judge suggesting Fund pay a $75,000 fine to the commission, $200,000 to the victim in emotional distress damages and $95,000 in lost wages.
But the announcement made by the commission on Monday indicated that Fund would be paying more than that; it turns out that Fund will be responsible to pay the maximum penalty of $250,000 – the most ever.
Part of the reason why the penalty was increased was because Fund did not deliver the financial documents as requested. Combined with the penalty and damages, the total amount owed by Fund is $672,670 to both Cardenas and the city.
“This fine reflects New York City’s commitment to combat sexual harassment,” said the commission as issued in a statement.
But Fund contended that the ruling was “Absolutely ridiculous” and continued by saying “I never made any advances towards her. She worked here 13 years, so how bad can I have been?”
“Ms. Cardenas suffered a great deal having lived through the constant harassment over a three-year period at the hands of Jerry Fund,” said staff attorney Amy Hong who works for The Legal Aid Society and represents Cardenas.
The Legal Aid Society also said that the fine “sends a strong message.”
New York City Sexual Harassment Lawyers Serving Employees Rights in NY, NJ, and PA
The objective is for the Commission to send a strong message. This message is seemingly an aggressive effort on their behalf to target sexual harassment by imposing stiffer penalties with a zero margin for tolerance.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment, the laws have been set up to protect you. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and it is illegal. It’s time that you take a stand on behalf of your rights and put an end to the harassment as well as working in a hostile job environment.
If you believe you have been the victim of NY, NJ, PA workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, our team of sexual harassment lawyers are here to help you. We strongly urge you to reach out to our law firm to speak to one of our attorneys for a free consultation.
The NY, NJ, PA sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handle a multitude of sexual harassment, discrimination and employment law cases in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. We also represent employee’s sexual harassment cases in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Miami For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation .
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