According to a story on NJ.com, a jury has ordered an adult novelty company to pay $500,000 to a fired saleswoman. She had sued for harassment and retaliation following her termination, claiming that she was fired after complaining about harassment by a co-worker. According to her attorney, “The president of the company yelled and screamed at her and disciplined her for the first time in the four years she’d worked there. He accused her of saying bad things about the company.”
We can debate whether someone who chooses sell adult products can be sexually harassed. What should not be open to debate, though, is that a company cannot berate, discipline, or terminate an employee following a harassment or discrimination complaint. Allegations of retaliation often turn a defensible EEO lawsuit into a huge liability risk. Unfortunately, this lesson is one that many companies do not learn until it’s too late.