Human Resources Admin Sues Former Employer for Sexual Harassment

A Pennsylvania window manufacturing company is being sued by a longtime employee for sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and unlawful termination.

Carolyn Wright began working for VIWINCO in 2000.  She was hired as a human resources assistant and worked her way up to human resources administrator, according to the complaint.

Wright claims that, beginning in 2006 and continuing until her termination, her immediate supervisor and general manager, Michael Duncan, abused his power and subjected her to a hostile work environment. Specifically, Duncan asked Wright to engage in sexual relations, repeatedly offered to “take her away,” graphically detailed his sexual encounters with prostitutes and his enjoyment of pornographic films,  and speculated during meetings about what female employees, including Wright, would look like naked, according to the complaint.

Wright registered numerous complaints of sexual harassment with the human resources manager, but no investigation was ever conducted or steps taken to end the sexual harassment, Wright claims.  Indeed, the president of the company often laughed and encouraged the sexually-offensive remarks made by Duncan.

In 2015 Duncan unilaterally transferred Wright to a new role, for which she had no experience, in order to work even more closely with her, according to the complaint. He continued to ask her about her personal life and complain about his wife and their lack of intimacy, despite Wright requesting that their relationship remain professional.

In September 2016 Wright was abruptly terminated.  VIWINCO alleged that the cause was “uncooperative behavior,” despite the fact that Wright had never been counseled or disciplined for any performance deficiencies.

Wright claims that “[t]he actions of [VIWINCO], through its agents, servants and employees, in subjecting [her] to a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and retaliation for opposing unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace, ultimately resulting in the termination of her employment, constituted a violation of “ the law.

The case was filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Wright’s attorney, Sidney Gold of Philadelphia.