Overview: After a woman reported that her male manager had forced her to have sex with him, the man told her that he’d kill her if he lost his job.
The scenario: Shontell Coleman was worried when Patrick Dingle told her to follow him to a washroom on a Coast Guard ship moored at the Pascagoula, MS, shipyard operated by Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Dingle, who was employed by Huntington Ingalls, managed a cleaning crew provided by staffing agency NSC Technologies. Coleman was a member of the NSC crew, and she’d already endured many offensive comments from Coleman.
For instance, Dingle had said to Coleman, “You look so fine in those jeans,” and “You fine as a motherf-ck-r; You wearing those jeans, aren’t you?”
But when Dingle brought Coleman to the washroom on the ship, the inappropriate behavior escalated beyond offensive comments.
Once they were in the washroom, Dingle said to Coleman, “You need to get with the program.” Coleman asked, “What program?” and Dingle said, “F-ck me to keep your job.” So she reluctantly agreed to have sex with Dingle.
When Coleman let NSC managers know what had happened, she was told that NSC wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize its contract with Huntington Ingalls.
A short time later, Dingle approached Coleman and said, “If I lose my job, b-tch, you gonna lose your life.”
Fearful for her safety, Coleman contacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Legal challenge: The EEOC sued Huntington Ingalls and NSC Technologies for sexual harassment.
The ruling: The companies lost. They agreed to pay a combined $350,000 to settle the lawsuit.
Based on EEOC v. Huntington Ingalls Industries and NSC Technologies, LLC.
(From the Jan. 20, 2023, issue of HR Managers Legal Alert for Supervisors. To start your no-obligation trial subscription to the publication right now, please click here.)