Former Employee Awarded $193,000 After Sexual Harassment

According to the Great Falls Tribune, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry had awarded KayCee Groven $193,502 in a sexual harassment case. Groven, a former employee of the Havre Eagles Club complained of alleged and repeated sexual harassment over a period of years.

Hearing officer Gregory Hanchett found that Groven’s supervisor, Thomas Farnham, did subject Groven to repeated sexual harassment, forcing her to leave her job when the actions became intolerable. The hearing lasted two days, with both parties testifying along with 15 other witnesses. Hanchett issued a decision after the second day testimonies in which he found that the general manager of the Havre Eagles Club sexually harassed Groven while she was employed as a bartender at the club.

Farnham denied Groven’s claims, but the hearing officer found his testimony to not be credible. However, he did find Groven’s testimony to be credible in this case and was supported by testimony of other witnesses. Based on overwhelming evidence, it would be preposterous for the Club to argue that Farnham did not created a sexually hostile environment for Groven, said the officer.

In 2009, Farnham pled guilty to sexually assaulting Groven and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. According to evidence, he subjected Groven to repeated inappropriate touching and sexual comments, and he tried to hug and kiss her. The officer found Farnham’s actions to be severe and pervasive, and that they had created an abusive work environment. The Club fired but later rehired Farnham over disciplinary matters, some related directly to the case.

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