Co-worker exposed himself to North Berwick colleague, lawsuit claims

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Oct. 18, 2011, at 5:54 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A former worker at the North Berwick transfer station has sued the town alleging that her supervisor sexually harassed her by mouthing obscenities at her and on at least one occasion exposing himself to her.

Joanna Allen of North Berwick sued the town in September in York County Superior Court after she received a right-to-sue letter from the Maine Human Rights Commission, according to her attorney Lisa Butler of Bangor.

The attorney for the town, Edward J. Benjamin Jr. of Portland, had the case moved Friday to federal court.

The documents were made public Tuesday on the federal court system’s electronic case filing system.

North Berwick denied the allegations in its answer to the complaint. The town claimed it had fired Allen after an independent investigator determined she had filed a false report against her co-worker.

Allen worked for the town from May 2003 until she was fired June 10, 2009, according to the complaint. Beginning in July 2008 and continuing until April 8, 2009, Allen claimed she was subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.

In the complaint, Allen alleged that her firing violated the Maine Whistleblower Protection Act and that she was let go in retaliation for reporting violations of health and safety laws and her colleague’s harassment.

Among other things, Allen is seeking reinstatement, back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and a letter from the town to all employees notifying them of the verdict and stating it will not tolerate discrimination retaliation in the future.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/10/18/news/court/co-worker-exposed-himself-to-north-berwick-colleague-lawsuit-claims/ printed on October 26, 2014