A former corporate lawyer is suing her former employer, claiming she was fired for “harassing” her male colleagues.
Sarah Cairns says her employer fired her in 2011 after she refused to accept a $1,000 bonus.
The lawsuit says her firing was due to “harassment” of her male coworkers.
The suit, filed in federal court in New York, accuses the plaintiff of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in compensation for employment.
The plaintiffs claims she was “subjected to unwelcome physical and verbal harassment” by her male co-workers during the time she worked for the law firm of the same name.
Cairns, now 33, said her male supervisors did not take it seriously, and that her supervisors did their best to ignore her complaints of sexual harassment.
She said that after her termination, her co-worker complained to her manager about “the harassment.”
Cairn told the Times that her manager did not intervene, but that she “just kind of stood there and went on.”
She told the newspaper that she was told to stop complaining about her colleagues, and “the manager went on to say that she thought the harassment was going to be handled better.”
The suit says Cairn was fired because of “inconsistencies in the written severance package.”
The Times article also cites the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Civil Rights, which is investigating the matter.
The Times said it obtained a copy of the complaint, which states that “in an email dated November 23, 2011, a male colleague of mine said that I should not have complained to the office of the Human Resources Director because she was male.
She stated that I was not a good colleague and that she had a problem with me.”
The complaint alleges that Cairs supervisor, “John,” did not act upon the comment.
John, the lawsuit alleges, then called her into his office and asked her if she was joking and told her she had made a mistake.
John told Cair the following day, according to the complaint:I have a problem.
I am in a difficult position.
It’s not an easy position.
She told John she would never speak to her supervisor again.
The lawsuit says that Cairs supervisors behavior toward Cairts colleagues is the reason she was terminated.
Cairs complaint says that she told the human resources director, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.”
She says she was informed by the HR director that she did not have to work with him again and was terminated without explanation.
The complaint states that Cains supervisor then called Cair as she was leaving and said that she would be leaving immediately.
Cains claims that her supervisor “repeatedly said that the sexual harassment she was facing was due in large part to her gender, which she believed was not addressed.”
Cairs attorney, Mark Geller, told the New York Times that Casts termination was a “breach of contract” and “a violation of her constitutional rights.”
Calls to Cairss office were not returned by press time.