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Former employee files suit for hostile work environment at school

A former employee of nationwide education provider ITT Technical Institute says in a recent lawsuit that she had to leave her job because of an unbearable hostile work environment.

"To describe it in one word, it would be dreadful," she told reporters recently about the ongoing sexual harassment in the admissions department at ITT Technical Institute.

Her boss, the recruiting manager, allegedly openly ogled women at the workplace and made highly inappropriate comments about their bodies. He also made jokes directed at women, gay people, and minorities that were highly offensive. One example of this, according to the former employee, was when he would ring a bell for his secretary, intending to treat her like a servant, and saying that "her people" were familiar with that type of treatment.

The man denies the allegations and the school has no issued on a comment on the pending cases. Two other cases alleging sexual harassment by the same employee have already been settled.

Employees who have to leave their jobs because of a hostile work environment created by harassment do have options to get their jobs back or be paid for the time that they would have been working but could not because of the situation at work. Employers have a duty to act when they are first notified of harassment in the workplace. In this case, the employer apparently fired the man when the first cases were filed against him, but according to this case there were many prior complaints that were ignored.

Source: ABC 10 News, "Lawsuit alleges sexual harassment, racism at ITT Technical Institute," Michael Chen, May 14, 2013.

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