GENERAL EXTRUSIONS Suit alleges sexual harassment

Male co-workers made derogatory remarks about women, the suit alleges.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A woman who says she was subjected to lewd comments, unwelcome touching, derogatory references to women and obscenities is suing General Extrusions in Boardman for more than $1 million.
Youngstown attorney Martin S. Hume has filed the civil rights lawsuit in federal court in Akron on behalf of Nancy Parker, 48, of East Pasadena Avenue.
U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin will hear the case, which alleges sex discrimination and harassment.
General Extrusions is in the business of aluminum extrusions, fabrication, anodizing, powder coating and aluminum finishing, according to its Web site. It has plants in Boardman and Leetonia.
The company hired Parker as a fabricator in August 2000 and discharged her in February 2004, after which she filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
An EEOC investigation turned up documents and testimony that Parker faced gender-based harassment, sexual harassment and a sexually hostile work environment, according to a letter the EEOC sent Parker and General Extrusions last summer.
It also noted that General Extrusions denied the allegations.
Court papers show the company is represented by Youngstown attorney Christopher J. Newman. He failed to respond to messages The Vindicator left at his office.
The EEOC concluded that General Extrusions failed to take appropriate steps to maintain a workplace free of unlawful harassment, that included male co-workers who wore torn clothing that exposed their genitals and buttocks, the investigators wrote.
Witness testimony indicated that the woman's supervisor was aware of the workplace atmosphere.
Lack of corrective action
The company's failure to take corrective action to eliminate the harassment interfered with Parker's ability to perform her job, caused her to become ostracized among her co-workers and resulted in medical leaves of absences and her discharge in February 2004, the EEOC wrote in its letter.
Hume included the EEOC letter as an exhibit in the lawsuit. He also included Parker's right-to-sue notice from the EEOC, which states that it found reasonable cause to believe discrimination had occurred and that a settlement could not be reached with General Extrusions.
Hume said Parker lost wages, benefits, incurred damage to her reputation and suffered severe emotional distress.
The lawsuit asks for back pay, restoration of benefits, compensation in excess of $1 million, punitive damages and attorney fees.

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