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Missouri woman sues boss for sexual harassment

A Missouri woman claims that her boss began sexually harassing her as early as her job interview. According to the complaint filed in a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former employer, the woman claims the owner of Spear Construction asked her during a February 2011 job interview to stand and turn around so he could take a "look at her butt." The woman says she took the position anyway because she needed the money to support her child.

The complaint contains numerous allegations of the unwelcome sexual behavior to which she and at least one other woman were subjected at the hands of her boss. Another female employee discovered the man had installed a secret camera in the company restroom, which he was using to videotape women. After that woman brought both a civil lawsuit and criminal charges against the man, he offered to buy the plaintiff in the current case a house and new SUV if she would lie on his behalf.

The complaint further alleges that the man required the plaintiff to attend a dinner with him at a local restaurant. After they were seated at a table, he placed his foot in her crotch area. She got up and left the restaurant, and he followed her into the parking lot, where he grabbed her and tried to kiss her. The woman says she reported the harassment to the man's wife, who was an officer in the company, and she was fired shortly thereafter.

Sexual harassment is illegal sex discrimination under Missouri and federal law. It may include unwanted sexual advances, lewd comments, and even sexual assault. If you have been a victim of harassment in the workplace, report the unwelcome conduct to your employer. If the employer does not take action to address your complaint or if you experience unlawful retaliation as a result, you should consult with an attorney about filing a sexual harassment claim.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Boss of the Week," Joe Harris, March 20, 2013

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