Women Win $2.3 Million in Sexual Harassment Case Against FedEx

A jury in California awarded two women $2.3 million in a sexual harassment case against FedEx Corporation. Kolainia Hettick alleged she was the subject over the course of several years of an obsession by a male coworker, Rubelle Cristobal, and Jana Bryant said she was harassed for persuading Hettick not to date Cristobal, according to Bloomberg News. Both women complained to management, and alleged that management did not act appropriately to protect them, according to Mercury News.

The women won $1 million each in punitive damages. Hettick won an additional $298,000 and Bryant received $30,000 in compensatory damages. Hettick delivered a message to other women through her lawyer, John Winer, that she hopes “this verdict sends a message that sexual harassment is not okay, and if you’ve been sexually harassed, don’t be afraid to come forward,” according to Mercury News. “This verdict clearly sends a message to corporate America that we will not tolerate sexual abuse in the workplace,” said Winer, according to the Bloomberg News. “In addition, workers should not be intimidated by companies that turn their backs on this type of behavior.”

FedEx spokeswoman Sandra Munoz said that FedEx believed the suit had no merit, and that it would appeal the ruling, according to the Memphis Business Journal.

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Bloomberg News 2/2/05; Mercury News 2/2/05; John Winer press release 1/28/05; Memphis Business Journal 2/1/05

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