Former Employee Sues Boss For $400 Million
Janice Worthen-Caldwell the former employee of the Special Touch, a large Brooklyn New York home health care firm, is suing her boss, Steven Ostrovsky, for $400 million, alleging he had sex with her, groped her and otherwise sexually harassed her and most of his female workers over the past 15 years. The last straw Caldwell says was when she rebuffed Ostrovsky's advances, which she said included grabbing her rear at one office party and trying to kiss her at another. The sexual harassment lawsuit had opening statements last week and continues this week.
Ostrovsky's lawyer Richard Reibstein told the court in his opening statement that Caldwell was annoyed because she was shifted to another job in the company after returning from a 13-week medical leave. He also told the jury:
"These allegations of sexual harassment didn't occur, or if they occurred, she is taking some act and blowing it out of proportion to make it sound a lot worse,"
But according to the Daily News a former employee, Desiree Cooper, testified that she began a two-year affair with the married Ostrovsky in 1992 and would perform oral sex on him in his office three times a week. She said:
"He would also give me money to purchase edible underwear, which he enjoyed having me eat off him."
Cooper a native of Guyana said she ended the affair when she learned Ostrovsky was sleeping with other women in the office. Cooper went on to say that she knew many women who quit or were fired after reacting negatively to the sexual harassment. If the women were fired for rebuffing Obstrovsky's sexual advances this would be retaliation.
Special Touch has its headquarters in Coney Island New York and sends more than 2,500 nurses and other health care professionals into homes of the elderly. Cooper claims that Ostrovsky felt free to prey on women who were of immigrant backgrounds like herself, many who were poorly educated, because they had a difficult time obtaining well-paying employment.