Interior Decorator Settles Sexual Harassment Case for $250,000
It looks like being an interior decorator is a pretty good way to make a living-that is if you have ties to the housing authority. According to published reports, the Philadelphia Housing Authority ("PHA") will pay through its' insurance company $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim against executive director Carl R. Greene. The claim was first filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") by Elizabeth Helm, 29, a former interior decorator with PHA. According to her allegations Greene made advances including touching, grabbing, and groping her. Helm repeatedly told Greene to stop but Greene continued to forcibly and physically pursue inappropriate and unwanted contact of an intimate nature with her.
Because of this sexual harassment Helm was advised by her doctor not to return to work. She requested a medical leave, but was denied one by PHA. Because she was denied she took her vacation time and when it was exhausted and she did not return to work, PHA stopped paying her. She then applied for unemployment and PHA engaged in retaliation by fighting her claim. Fighting unemployment when allegations like this are brought to the attention of management is just stupid. It only makes the person want to pursue a claim and makes the amount available to them in damages increase. Additionally, if a person is unable to continue at work because of the discriminatory actions that are taking place at work, it is called a constructive discharge.