Veteran Employee accused of Sexual Harassment
Florida – A female radio host, Aprille Hinnant, is suing Cox Media Group for sexual harassment at work. According to the sexual harassment lawsuit filed in a Miami federal court, the plaintiff alleged her supervisor, Maestro Powell, sexually harassed and retaliated against her, which developed a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment includes severe and pervasive sexual harassment that occurs frequently and disrupts an employee’s ability to work.
In May 2010, Hinnant started working for the radio station, 99 JAMZ, owned by Cox Media Group. The job duties Hinnant fulfilled included co-hosting the morning show on Sundays, coordinating events, and handling expense reports for the station. Throughout her work experience at the radio station, Hinnant was informed about receiving training in order to run the radio station in the future.
Powell alleged he was the only individual who could train her to run the radio station. After the first six months, Hinnant started to endure unwanted sexual advances and sexual comments from Powell. The sexual harassment lawsuit says Powell told Hinnant, “I had a dream you and I was getting married.” In spite of the discomfort Powell’s actions brought into Hinnant’s professional and personal life, he also said, “Your husband isn’t man enough,” “He doesn’t know what to do with you.”
In addition to releasing inappropriate comments regarding Hinnant’s personal life, Hinnant alleged Powell attempted to “kiss” her. Hinnant claims she rebuffed Powell’s actions and he continued to sexually harass her. Hinnant’s rejection motivated Powell to consistently approach her unprofessionally. Out of fear of receiving a negative response for reporting workplace sexual harassment, Hinnant spoke to a general manager at the radio station about her serious work-related issue considering he has known her since her youth days.
The female victim eventually relinquished her fear and then contacted Human Resources with the assistance of the general manager about the sexual harassment she faced at work. After Hinnant had a meeting with the HR department, she noticed that Powell created and maintained a hostile work environment. Although Hinnant worked hard to complete her work duties in peace, Powell managed to disrupt projects Hinnant attempted to complete for other employees. Hinnant genuinely believes Powell’s objective was to display her as a “bad employee.” Hinnant tried her best to have other employees present while Powell was in her presence, however, Powell disregarded others and their opinions.
According to Hinnant, ongoing sexual harassment by Powell occurred for almost two years. Hinnant placed a request via email for Human Resources to grant her a new opportunity in the workplace, which would allow her to grow and develop as a “vital team player to the Cox family.” Hinnant’s request was denied along with all the previous offers 99 JAMZ extended to her prior to the meeting about workplace sexual harassment with Human Resources. Due to the lack of assistance Hinnant received from Human Resources, she decided to seek assistance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces all employers to comply with federal laws regarding employment. In the event, an employer breaches the federal law, Title VII, which prevents employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of color, race, religion, sex, gender, and national origin, consequences may follow.
The EEOC approved Hinnant’s sexual harassment claim and provided her with an opportunity to sue Cox Media Group for sexual harassment. Hinnant alleged she faced workplace retaliation for filing a sexual harassment lawsuit. Hinnant’s workplace retaliation included a demotion excluding a job title, and minor office tasks such as “stuffing envelopes” and “checking messages” as opposed to her normal work duties. As time progressed, Hinnant began to suffer from health problems resulting from a high level of stress that caused her to resign from 99 JAMZ. Currently, Hinnant is requesting “damages for emotional stress, suffering, and emotional distress.” Hinnant is also expecting to receive her job back and back pay.
Sexual Harassment Lawyer
If you have ever been an employee who endured workplace sexual harassment at a radio station in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, contact a sexual harassment lawyer at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia. Our sexual harassment lawyers are thoroughly skilled in a variety of protected classes regarding workplace discrimination and are prepared to represent employees both in and out of the courtroom.
If you feel you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in New York City, Miami, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.