Recent Rulings: Sexual Harassment
In Gonzalez v. Lecoq Cuisine Corp., 2014 Conn. Super. 1245 (May 16, 2014), the plaintiff alleged that she worked for a small company and was sexually harassed by her direct supervisor, the company's CEO. The harassment consisted of the CEO telling the plaintiff four times in one day that "she might improve the company's sales with a particular client if she would engage the client's male representative in sexual relations." Due to this conduct, she was forced to resign,and she informed her managers that she was resigning on account of his harassment. The company's controller responded by accusing her of "slander" and "libel." The plaintiff sued for wrongful termination and sexual harassment, among other things. The employer moved to dismiss her claims.
The court held that the plaintiff's claim of sexual harassment should not be dismissed, because even though the comments made by the CEO were made over a short period of time, they were sufficiently severe to sustain her case. Not only were the comments inappropriately sexual in nature, but they also implicitly threatened her livelihood because she was a sales person and earned her money largely from commissions.