FedEx was sued this week in Federal court over allegations of failing to prevent sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The suit was filed by a woman who claims she was told she could endure the harassment, or be demoted.
“I wonder how my penis would feel between those big ass titties,” is just one of the comments that Dorcere Roberts says she has to endure regularly at work. She says she has also been shown unsolicited pictures of male genitalia, and called a “fucking bitch” on the job.
Roberts says that when she first reported the harassment, she was told to “stop being childish,” and ordered to return to work.
“A day or two after that, [a supervisor] contacted [Roberts] via text message, and explained that he wanted to meet with her to discuss the events. [Roberts] met [the supervisor] prior to her shift … and explained the ongoing unlawful harassment she had been enduring including the comment [her coworker] made to her about wanting to heel his penis between her breasts,” the complaint states. It goes on to say that the offending coworker was placed on paid suspension.
Roberts says she was assured that the coworker would not return to the warehouse where she worked. According to the complaint, this would not last.
“[Two months later the coworker] returned to work. [He] openly mocked his ‘suspension,’ calling it a ‘paid vacation.’ [He] mocked [Roberts] calling her a ‘bitch,’ and laughed that he got his job back,” the complaint states.
Roberts again complained, and it was at this point she was offered a demotion.
According to the complaint, “[Roberts] protested, she explained that she did not think it was fair that her only option was to accept a pay cut while the person who harassed her was allowed to continue working at a higher pay rate.”
Roberts says she feels extremely humiliated, degraded, victimized, embarrassed and emotionally distressed due to the harassment, as well as FedEx’s refusal to “take appropriate corrective or remedial action.”
“FedEx have exhibited a pattern and practice of not only tolerating discrimination and retaliation, but also failing to investigate and cure the wrong once it has been reported,” the complaint states.
Pam Norman, who works for FedEx in Missouri, recently filed her own similar suit against the shipping giant.
“I’ve worked hard, and I deserve not to be treated like that,” Norman told Diane Sawyer of ABC News in April. “I’m going to tough it out. I went this far and I’m not going to turn back.”
Norman says that for years, she was ridiculed and bullied by her supervisor who she says tried to drive her out of the mostly-male workplace.
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