Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Evidence of Whirlpool's Culture of Employee Abuse

Judge: Whirlpool Must Pay Former Employee $1 Million

December 22, 2009
By Mark Bellinger

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge has awarded a Rutherford County woman more than $1 million. Judge John Nixon held Whirlpool liable in a sexual harassment suit filed by an employee more than four years ago.

Attorneys for Carlotta Freeman told NewsChannel 5 it was a classic example of a hostile work environment and Whirlpool has to pay.

Freeman worked at Whirlpool in Lavergne for more than 16 years.

In January 2004, she worked on an assembly line in the air conditioner department, and what transpired over the next three months changed her life.

"She probably has the worst case of post traumatic stress disorder you've ever seen," said Freeman's attorney Helen Rogers.

"This has pretty much destroyed Ms. Freeman's life," said Freeman's attorney Andy Allman.

Rogers and Allman filed suit against Whirlpool saying the company violated Freeman's civil rights. Freeman did not feel comfortable talking to NewsChannel 5, but her niece did.

"She [Freeman] was terrified. She was just terrified," said Freeman's niece Amable Osborne.

During a trial Freeman's attorneys put on proof showing 56-year-old Willie Baker repeatedly made inappropriate racial and sexual comments toward Freeman.

"Then he started using the ‘n' word and different racial comments were made," said Rogers.

Related article:

Whirlpool Corp. to Pay Over $1 Million for Harassing Black Female Worker

EEOC Said Company Tolerated Verbal Harassment Culminating in Physical Assault