R.J. Reynolds Loses $800,000 Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

According to Biz Journals, two Nevada women sued R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company for quid pro quo sexual harassment and retaliation. A California judge announced an award in the case of $800,000 in damages.

The two women worked for R.J. Reynolds’ Sacramento division as trade marketing representatives and had accused their supervisor of engaging in quid pro quo sexual harassment behavior, as well as outrageous and inappropriate conduct, gender discrimination and obscenity-laden tirades. There are many types of harassment that can occur at work, including sexual and unwanted behavior by supervisors and other co-workers.

The plaintiffs claimed that they had contacted the human resources office about their supervisor’s behavior but that the company failed to take any action to correct the behavior. The human resources office convened a meeting of employees and at that meeting other employees expressed similar concerns. Court documents state that employees signed affidavits about sexual harassment they had experienced at work. When the supervisor learned the two women had complained, the supervisor began a series of retaliatory actions, forcing one woman to quit and another to be terminated from her job, say court documents.

The jury awarded each worker $150,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 each in punitive damages.

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