On Wednesday, July 22, 2009, Judge Legg of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland awarded $678,326 in damages to seven Complainants who endured egregious sexual harassment while employed at Defendant Worthington, Moore, and Jacobs. The award represents the full statutory cap for compensatory and punitive damages and full back-pay for all Complainants.
Relman & Dane represented Laura Thomas, who was awarded $164,737 in damages and backpay. After Ms. Thomas filed a charge with the EEOC, the EEOC found probable cause that Ms. Thomas and six other complainants had been subject to sexual harassment and retaliation. The EEOC filed federal litigation on behalf of the seven Complainants; Relman & Dane represented Ms. Thomas in the federal litigation as an intervenor.
From the day she began work, Ms. Thomas faced a constant barrage of sexual propositions by the President of Worthington, including offers to be her "sugar daddy" and of money and a car for a sexual relationship, comments about her body, and constant invitations for weekends away. The President made quid pro quo sexual demands, threatening to remove 250 client leads if Ms. Thomas did not go away with him for Labor Day, and then making good on his promise. When Ms. Thomas reported the sexual harassment to the CEO of Worthington, he responded by cutting her pay in half (with the input of the harasser), threatening her and her attorney with frivolous lawsuits, referring to her in offensive, derogatory terms, and finally firing her.
Before Ms. Thomas began work at Worthington, several other female employees had reported to the CEO and filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describing almost identical harassment. In response, the CEO laughed in their faces, fired them, and enacted a sexual harassment policy that listed the harassing President and the CEO as the individuals to whom harassment was to be reported.