Adele Sammarco, after the jury rejected her sexual harassment and hostile work environment lawsuit claimed that, “I am one woman up against a corporate entity.”
Sammarco, who was previously employed as a reporter at NY1, a cable news station, indicted the station’s executives Steve Paulus and Peter Landis as well as the former HR manager Elizabeth Fanfant. She alleged that she was fired in 2001 because she complained about getting harassed and even being kissed by a colleague.
She claimed she was called “Big Butt Booty” by male news assistants, that a photo of her was edited with big breasts and posted in the newsroom, and that Gary Anthony Ramsay kissed her without permission.
The station however, claimed that Jeff Simmons who enhanced Sammarco’s photo has been verbally reprimanded. Also, they claimed that Sammarco’s termination was because she was not a very good journalist.
A member of the jury, Marie Gorini said afterwards that there wasn’t enough evidence to support a decision in favor of Sammarco’s suit.
In 2009, a total of 12,696 sexual harassment complaints were received by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This goes to show that despite high profile cases and the growing awareness of sexual harassment laws, gender bias and discrimination continue to exist.
In case you’re a victim of sexual harassment, it would be best to file a complaint first with your employer and if the abuse still persists, report it to the EEOC or file a case in court.