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Posted On: March 12, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Niner Winery Owner Denies Sexual Harassment Charge

Winery owner Dick Niner testified at the sexual harassment trial that sexual advances from Tammi Herron a former employee alleging he sexually harassed her never happened. Pam Niner, Dick's wife also testified that Herron used her “feminine wiles” to advance in their Paso Robles-based company, and that Herron acted in a pandering manner toward her husband when she visited the couple at their Jackson Hole Wyoming home.

Herron’s lawsuit alleges that Pam Niner and Mike Musso, general manager for Niner Wine Estates, tried to force her out of her job when Pam Niner realized her husband had more than a professional interest in the employee. Herron only worked four months as a sales representative before resigning and filing her lawsuit. Herron claims Dick Niner told her he loved her while they were at the bar of the San Luis Obispo restaurant Koberl at Blue. She also alleged he tried to negotiate to see her more frequently, and then later kissed her with an open mouth twice in her car as she dropped him off at the Niner Wine Estate office.

“The events didn’t happen. … I’m loyal to my wife. I have been for 37 years,” Niner said.
Pam Niner said Herron was one of those women who too often use their feminine wiles to get jobs and advancement.

Herron claimed in her lawsuit that her work environment changed and became a hostile work environment after she stayed as a guest in the Niners’ Wyoming home. Dick Niner paid for her and her children’s round-trip flights, sponsored Herron’s daughter at a Wyoming summer camp and offered Herron a place to stay for a week.

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