FedEx, the shipping giant with the hidden phallic symbol in its logo, got rid of West Virginia employee Lavon Pauley because she’s a lesbian and started complaining about on-the-job sexual harassment, claims her lawsuit, which seeks $113,000 in back pay.
Pauley says she was a perfectly good employee but was fired in retaliation after complaining her supervisor Robert Cowart, who is named in the suit, “repeatedly belittled her about her performance in front of her male colleagues, completely ignored her on a route he rode with her and repeatedly yelled at her at job sites, calling her ‘lazy,’” reports the West Virginia Record.
“This includes, but is not limited to, Defendant Cowart’s demanding Ms. Pauley deliver a package to a house where a dog had previously bitten her,” the suit states. In another instance, during a closed-door meeting, Cowart “shook his finger at her and yelled that a delivery she had asked about ‘was none of her damn business,’” the complaint says. “At the time this occurred, Ms. Pauley believed Defendant Cowart was going to hit her.”
After the closed-door meeting, Pauley claims she decided to make her sexual harassment complaint against Cowart and called management on March 4. “The day after Ms. Pauley made the complaint about Mr. Cowart, Mr. Cowart alleged he received a customer complaint about a delivery of Ms. Pauley’s, and on March 16, 2010 – while Ms. Pauley’s sexual harassment charge against him was still pending – he terminated Ms. Pauley’s employment,” the suit states.
Notice to employers: No matter how ridiculous you think an employee’s sexual harassment claim is, ya don’t fire her immediately after she registers a problem; you just look guilty. (And notice to plaintiffs: It’s always wise to remove photos of yourself getting drunk and flipping people off from the Internet before filing charges.)
And while the gender discrimination is at the forefront of the suit, it seems her claims of sexual orientation discrimination is almost an aside, at least the way the Record puts things. After all I’d imagine any instances of her being called a “dyke” would be front and center in the report.
[photo via MySpace]