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Entries in Sexual Harassment (2)

Friday
Nov092012

Waffle House Chairman Accused of Requiring Sex Acts

Jim Stratford/ Bloomberg News(ATLANTA) -- A Georgia woman is accusing the chairman of Waffle House, her employer, of demanding that she perform sex acts on him as part of her job's duties over a period of nearly 10 years.

The woman, who ABC News is not identifying due to the sexual harassment allegations, filed an incident report with the Atlanta Police Department that detailed the alleged abuse.

She accused Joseph Rogers Jr. of forcing her to perform "various sexual acts on him as a condition of her employment," according to the police report.

The police report identified Rogers as "a man in his early sixties, who is very wealthy and has extensive holdings in restaurant enterprises and related entities valued at approximately $400 million."

"As part of and as a condition of [victim's] employment, and against [victim's] will, Rogers willfully, repeatedly and with specific intent to harm and oppress [victim] required [victim] to perform sexual services," the police report said.

The report was posted online by hyperlocal news website Patch.com's Acworth branch. The Atlanta Police Department confirmed the report to ABC News.

The woman alleged that she was a personal assistant to Rogers from 2003-2012. She said that in addition to being forced to perform sexual acts, she was required to purchase pornography, lingerie and sex toys for him. She said he touched her inappropriately and made sexual comments to her.

"Rogers treated [victim] as subservient and required [victim] to perform these various sexual acts on him as a condition of her employment," according to the report. "Rogers' conduct toward [victim] was outrageous and offensive and caused [victim] to suffer humiliation, fear, embarrassment and severe emotional distress."

She identified herself as a 43-year-old single mother with a high school education and technical college degree in cosmetology who "managed many of the day-to-day operations of Rogers' estate."

She said that she needed to keep the job to support herself and her son and could not find a job that paid a comparable salary.

The woman said she quit her job this year as soon as her son was financially secure with a full college scholarship.

"On June 29, 2012 she sent Rogers a resignation letter informing him that she could no longer suffer the indignities and dehumanization of his actions," the report said. "She placed the resignation letter in Defendant's sock drawer in an effort to spare Rogers' wife from pain and humiliation."

Neither the woman nor her attorney responded to phone and email requests for comment.

Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner told ABC News that the woman was Roger's former housekeeper and was not employed by Waffle House Inc. Warner also said that earlier this year, Rogers transitioned from Waffle House chairman and CEO to just chairman. He directed further questions to Roger's attorney Robert Ingram who did not respond to request for comment.

"This is a private matter for Joe Rogers and his family and doesn't involve Waffle House," Warner said.

No charges have been filed against Rogers and police are investigating the matter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar092011

American Apparel Exec Calls $250 Million Sex Harassment Suit 'Extortion'

American Apparel(NEW YORK) -- American Apparel and its often-sued CEO Dov Charney have been hit with a $250 million suit by a teenage employee who claims Charney turned her into his sex slave, but the company is firing back by calling the young woman's suit "extortion."

Irene Morales, 20, claims that for eight months CEO Dov Charney forced the former sales clerk into sex, sodomizing her just days after her 18th birthday and keeping her a sex "prisoner" for hours in his New York City apartment.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York, Morales, who began working for the clothing chain in 2007 when she was 17, claims Charney demanded Morales send him "sexually explicit photographs" of herself and told the high school student that he wanted to have sex with her as soon as she turned 18.

The suit alleges that soon after Morales' 18th birthday, Charney demanded she come to his apartment where he appeared at the door "wearing only underpants."

"He forced her to get down on her knees just inside the front door and perform [a sex act] upon him, then he dragged her into his bedroom, threw her on the bed, got on top of her and forced her to perform another [sex act]," according to the suit.

The harassment, Morales says, was not contained to Charney's home. At work the boss gave Morales a "sex toy and it was witnessed by fellow employees."

The woman's lawyer says the harassment continued for eight months in which she was "forced to…perform many more sex acts upon defendant Charney with the clear understanding that failure to do so would result in the loss of her employment and failure to obtain advancement."

The woman claims the constant harassment drove her to verge of a nervous breakdown and she had to quit.

Morales never went to police to report the allegations, which if true would be tantamount to sexual harassment, rape and false imprisonment.

In a statement, American Apparel did not deny any of the allegations, but raised questions about Morales' motives and timing and accused the woman of attempting to extort the company. According to American Apparel's lawyer, Morales "left the company without complaint and resigned with a letter of gratitude regarding her positive experience at the company."

More than a year later, the company says Morales violated a severance agreement in which she agreed to submit any complaints to confidential binding arbitration. The company said it is planning its own legal action.

"The company intends to file a formal complaint with the NY state bar seeking disciplinary action against Ms. Morales' lawyers who we believe are engaged in an illegal conspiracy to extort money from American Apparel. We are very confident that Ms. Morales' claims will be promptly referred by the court to confidential binding arbitration where her claims and the company's counter-claims will be resolved, we believe fully in favor of the company."

Neither Charney nor his company are strangers to controversy. American Apparel has been criticized by women's groups since 1997 for its portrayal of scantily clad women, some of them barely of legal age and often depicted in suggestive poses.

Charney has been the subject of several sexual harassment claims and reports of lecherous behavior. In 2008, Charney faced three separate sexual harassment cases. According to the Los Angeles Times, one was dismissed and the other two were combined and settled. An earlier case from 2005 was settled for $1.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio