Casper Woman Sues Granite Peak Group for Sexual Harassment
A Casper woman has sued several related companies for sexual harassment and other abuse including literally being picked up and thrown into the trash, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Monday.
"Instead of stopping the illegal and abusive behavior in their workplace, The Granite Peak Defendants allowed the sexual harassment and discrimination to continue, and actually refused to correct the hostile work environment," according to the lawsuit filed by the woman's attorney Andrea Richard of Jackson.
"The Granite Peak Defendants created and condoned a hostile work environment and because of the Defendants' failure and refusal to act, [the woman] was subjected to assault, discrimination, abuse and severe and pervasive sexual harassment," Richard wrote.
The defendants are Granite Peak Fabrication, LLC; Granite Peak Industries, LLC, doing business as the Granite Peak Group; Granite Peak Industries A, LLC; Granite Peak Industries B, LLC; and John Does 1-20.
The woman is seeking damages including back pay, lost future wages, remuneration from the shareholders of the companies, and punitive damages to punish the defendants and deter future similar conduct.
Richard did not return a call seeking comment.
Granite Peak Fabrication's top official Joshua Jamison did not return a call seeking comment.
Thursday, Casper attorney and the company's registered agent Michael Lansing said he has not seen the lawsuit.
The woman began working as a welder at Granite Peak Fabrication, 2291 Renauna Ave., in July 2017, and soon was harassed, assaulted, and demeaned by co-workers, supervisors and others, according to the lawsuit. She also was paid less than her male counterparts for doing the same work.
She reported these behaviors to management, which took no corrective action and instead began to force her from her job and retaliated against her for asking for help.
In May 2019, the management found illegal drugs in the workplace and asked its employees to submit to drug testing.
The woman spoke privately with her supervisors, raised questions about the drug 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.
However, they refused her to allow to return as an act of retaliation, according to the lawsuit.
Earlier this year, the woman filed a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Equal Pay Act, and discrimination by Granite Peak.
The EEOC provided Granite Peak a notice of the charge, and 180 days later it issued a "right to sue notice" authorizing the lawsuit.
Granite Peak did not have written policy prohibiting sexual harassment in its workplace, and did not act as required by law to investigate and stop the harassment, according to the lawsuit. "By not taking the legally required actions and failing to act time and time again, the Granite Peak Defendants effectively endorsed the sexual harassment that was directed towards [the woman] in her workplace."
Granite Peak impeded reporting the harassment because the human resources office would not respond emails or phone calls, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit identifies some of the behaviors the woman endured:
- An employee smacked her on her behind, "then picked her up, threw her over his shoulder and took her over to the trash can and threw her in the trash."
- Employees sent her foul and abusive messages during and after work.
- Supervisors told her to "'brush aside'" employees' behavior.
- Her immediate supervisor humiliated her and angrily asked if she was on her period.
- Being slapped and smacked by co-workers on her backside.
- While working on her knees in a large metal vessel, co-workers put a broomstick between her legs in a sexually suggestive manner.
- Co-workers repeatedly pulled her hair.
- While standing on a ladder and welding, co-workers would grab her leg.
- After refusing the advances of a co-worker, he tells her she is "'a worthless whore'" and "'should go kill herself.'"
- Co-workers told her daily that she "'has a nice ass'" and "'hey sexy.'"
Some co-workers were concerned for her and supported her when another co-worker screamed at her and harassed her, according to the lawsuit.
But those concerns paled compared to the companies' actions or inactions.
[The woman] has truly been through a nightmare at the hands of the Granite Peak Fabrication and the other The Granite Peak Defendants," according to the lawsuit. "Because the abuse and hostile work environment remained callously unchecked, [the woman] suffered extreme anxiety, mental distress, physical manifestations of extreme stress, and related effects."