Sydney Nurse, an African-American controller at a Manhattan employment firm, won a $1.2 million verdict in a racial and sexual harassment lawsuit against her employer. But despite her victory, Sydney isn't quitting her job. Rather, she returned to work and says she's determined to see that the harassing behavior stops for good. Gayle talks with Sydney about the case and her decision to continue working at the company where she says she was harassed.
In her lawsuit, Sydney alleged that the company's CEO and other employees made repeated, inappropriate racial and sexual comments and gestures. Sydney says winning the lawsuit was an important step toward ending the harassment at the firm, and that she's standing by her convictions by keeping her job. "It's important to me that the message was that I needed the behavior to stop," Sydney says. "I would like to see a change."
While Sydney says it's too soon to tell if the harassing behavior will end at the firm, she decided to return to her position—which includes heading the human resources department—in order to look out for her staff, for whom she feels responsible. "I remember crying several times at my desk saying, 'That's it, I've had it, I've got to go,'" she says. "Believe it or not, the younger women in my department encouraged me, basically [saying], 'Don't leave us behind.'"
Published on January 01, 2008