Casper Company Denies It Discriminated Against Woman Welder
A Casper company has denied it discriminated against a woman who reported sexual harassment, and it wants federal court to dismiss her civil rights lawsuit, according to its response in U.S. District Court last week.
The woman, a welder, alleged Granite Peak Fabrication and its related companies did not take action against employees who sent her abusive messages, humiliated her by asking if she was on her period, and even one who "picked her up, threw her over his shoulder and took her over to the trash can and threw her in the trash," according to her complaint filed in December.
But Granite Peak, through its attorney Pat Crank of Cheyenne, responded that it did not discriminate against her or pay her less based on her sex, nor did it retaliate against her after a one-time reported incident of harassment.
"When Complainant brought forth her sexual harassment complaint to her supervisor, the matter was immediately addressed," according to the response, which Crank called a "position statement" and not an affidavit.
"The individual accused of the harassment was immediately confronted by management and asked to cease his interactions with Complainant, and management also held a meeting with both the Complainant and individual to make sure the issue was resolved and would not happen again," Crank wrote.
However, he did not respond to some of her specific allegations such as being thrown into a trash can.
The company also responded that she was paid comparably to male welders, but there were problems regarding her work, Crank wrote.
Months later, she was terminated for refusing to take a mandatory drug test, which was unrelated to the sexual harassment complaint, he wrote. "When Complainant applied for reinstatement, there was no longer an opening for her previous position."
That's not how the woman described the drug test matter, according to her attorney Andrea Richard of Cheyenne.
In May 2019, management found illegal drugs in the workplace and asked its employees to submit to drug testing. She raised questions about the testing, but did not refuse to take the the test; they told her to go home, and said she would be asked to come back; but they refused her to allow to return as an act of retaliation.
Besides the drug-testing issue, Granite Peak responded that the woman did not did not meet the burden of proving she was discriminated against, nor did she adequately respond the the company's side of the story.
"The Complainant's claim that she was subjected to harassment that was so pervasive it altered the working conditions of her employment and created an abusive working environment is false," Crank wrote.