Breaking New Ground
Denise was hired after a job search in the sales department. Charlotte had taken a job with the same company years before, starting when she was 18 years old. Charlotte says she noticed early on that the male managers routinely made inappropriate comments to the female staff.
"The environment was horrible," Denise says. "The room that we worked in was like a men's locker room." Both women say they were subjected to repeated verbal and sexual abuse by coworkers and managers.
As tensions rose, the women say things got even more out of hand. "There was another sales rep," Denise says. "As I'd walk or pass him in the hallway, he would grab my arm, twist it, put it behind my back, and a couple times I thought he was going to break my arm. And it was just like that was okay to treat me like that. I guess it was just like acceptable behavior over there.
Denise says one man in particular repeatedly assaulted her and would ask her inappropriate questions. "Whenever I encountered him, he would push me against the wall, rub up against me," she says. "He would ask me, 'Do you like sex? Did you have sex last night?' Or, 'Did you have some sex today? Do you like sex?'"