Appeals Ct Revives Lawsuit By Worker Who Quit After 1,000 Age-Based Insults In A Year
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago says management at the Indiana company forced the worker to quit because it failed to take effective steps to end the harassment.
Sam Stamey says he was forced to quit after his employer refused to address a relentless and ruthless campaign of age-based harassment undertaken by coworkers.
Stamey, 62, had worked installing wiring in cargo trailers at Forest River, Inc’s plant in Elkhart, IN, for a decade. Forest River is a Berkshire Hathaway company that makes recreational vehicles.
Starting in 2017,Stamey says, he “caught old age insults practically every morning on [his[way into the building, when ‘[he] left for the day, during beaks, and whenever [he] walked into other parts of the plant.”
Coworkers called him a “Walmart greeter, grandma, old b——, and a lot more stuff.” They asked questions like, “You still Alive? What the F?”; “When the f—- you retiring?”; “What’s up homo? Looks like your dentures are about to fall out”; and “What are you doing here? I thought you died last week.”
They defaced his workstation, wrote profanity on his tool cabinet, zip tied his tools together, glued his tool cabinet shut, and drove screws into the wheels of his wire cart, immobilizing it. Someone placed a giant Styrofoam penis on his workbench, cut the cord to his coffee pot, and sprayed his lunch plate with undercoating
Stamey complained repeatedly to managers and things would quiet down for a week or two and then start up again.
Meanwhile, Stamey says he suffered emotionally and physically, had trouble eating and sleeping, dreaded going to work, felt depressed and humiliated and found his hands shaking while at home.
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