Former Employees Of Women’s Networking Group Sue Manager For Sexual Harassment
Four former workers of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) — a group that fosters a network of female entrepreneurs — are suing the organization for unwanted sexual advances from their manager; the ladies also claim that their paycheck had been docked in violation of New York State law, The New York Times reports.
Krissy L. DeMonte, former boss of Lisa DeLisi, Crystal Alexander, Monique McCabe and Anika Cosbert, is at the heart of this lawsuit. She allegedly “regularly pinched and grabbed their buttocks and called them vulgar names.” After the four women made complaints about DeMonte’s inappropriate behavior, they claimed that they were fired or forced to quit due to a hostile work environment. As a result, the former employees took action and filed a case against the NAPW on Sept. 25 in federal court.
In a written statement, the NAPW responded to the allegations and called them “ridiculous” and “unfounded.” The association claims that some of the plaintiffs were fired due to poor work performance and policy violations. “One plaintiff herself, the association said, had exhibited ‘a pattern of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct,'” the NY Times added.
On top of sexual harassment, DeLisi, Alexander, McCabe, and Cosbert claim that their pay was unlawfully slashed with commission and bonus pay withheld for tardiness and other infractions.
This isn’t the first time the NAPW has been sued. In January, Rose Costantino filed a lawsuit in New York State court against DeMonte as well. Castantino claimed that the manager would approach her from behind, grab her neck and slip her hands into her shirt to grope her breasts.
Same-sex sexual harassment cases are rare, but they’re becoming increasingly common. Imposing unwanted sexual advances on workers, according to a NY Times source, is more about power and authority than sexual desire.
The NAPW, which was founded six years ago, “is an exclusive network for professional women to interact, exchange ideas, educate, and empower,” according to the association’s website.