Sexually Harassed Woman Forced to Exorcise Demons From Office
Philadelphia, PA – A Pennsylvania electronics company forced its female employee to participate in a “pagan ritual” to exorcise demons from the workplace. That’s not all, the accused “demon” employee was also forced to endure unwanted sexual advances from her boss, in addition to demeaning comments about gender and Native American heritage.
Patricia Lindsey is claiming at least $2,300,000 in damages against her former employer, Ricoh USA. Ricoh is a Pennsylvania-based imaging and electronics company. Lindsey claims that over the course of seven years, she had to endure the discriminatory treatment and that Ricoh eventually terminated her in November because of her complaints.
A Ricoh spokesman denies the allegations and announced that the company plans to fight the claims in court. Ricoh’s attorney claims, “Ricoh has very strong anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and offers employees multiple ways to report any inappropriate behavior… The company does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind.”
Lindsey filed her sexual and racial harassment lawsuit late in August 2017 in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Virginia. According to her complaint, soon after Lindsey began working for Ricoh in June 2008, the unlawful conduct began. Then her supervisor, Robert Staton began his tireless torment of repeatedly making attempts to solicit sexual favors from Lindsey and that he retaliated against her if she said no or reported him to Ricoh’s Human Resources.
On one occasion Staton told her, “A woman should never speak to a man like that.” She further alleges, “Mr. Staton further stated that he did not have time for Ms. Lindsey’s objections to his conduct and Ms. Lindsey needed to listen to him and do as he says because he is a man and she was only a woman.”
In September 2015, Lindsey received a new supervisor, Pamela Vanover, however unfortunately the harassment continued. The new supervisor continued to harass Lindsey by commenting on her Native American heritage. Allegedly Vanover told her the r eason the “Indians lost to the Cowboys is because you were stupid.”
Later in August 2016 at Ricoh’s offices, Vanover forced Lindsey to participate in a pagan Wiccan ritual involving burning sage. Lindsey told Vanover she did not want to participate because she did not believe in pagan ceremonies, but she still found herself involved later that morning during a meeting.
Lindsey’s complaint explains that “Ms. Vanover entered with a rolled-up bundle of sage wrapped in Wiccan twine and stated, ‘I will be performing a Ritual today. I am exercising (sic) demons out of this place….Patty and I are exercising demons.’ ” Whereupon, her supervisor advanced towards Lindsey and pointed the sage at her face and repeatedly said, “I am exercising demons.”
Lindsey even claims that Vanover admitted that she and Staton were attempting to fire her because they were aware of the numerous HR complaints. The complaint explains “Vanover stated she had intended to send an intimidating message to Ms. Lindsey when she conducted her Wiccan ritual – which was why Ms. Vanover had stated that Ms. Lindsey was a demon she was exorcizing (sic).”
Under federal law, Title VII protects not only people who belong to major organized religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, but also others with sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Moreover, Title VII protects employees from having the beliefs of others pushed onto them in the workplace.
Moreover, Title VII protects employees from sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions), race, color, and national origin discrimination, as well as retaliation for an individual’s complaints. Likewise, for individuals living in the State of Pennsylvania, or City of Philadelphia, there are additional protections that go beyond Title VII.
The experienced Philadelphia discrimination and sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC have years of experience litigating claims of religious discrimination and sexual harassment. Working together with our New York City attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their religion. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your religion, sex, or another protected status under the law, please give our attorneys a call at (800) 807-2209 for your free consultation.
Call today to schedule a FREE sexual harassment or employment discrimination legal Consultation in NY, NJ & PA with one of our top rated employment law or sexual harassment attorneys here at the Derek Smith Law Group. You can reach us online or by calling . Our New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia labor & employment law attorneys handle a variety of cases involving sexual harassment, racial discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and other employment-related claims. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey and Philadelphia to serve you.
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