Detroit, Michigan — A city contractor and associate of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been sued over sexual harassment. According to the lawsuit filed this week in Wayne County Circuit Court, Bobby Ferguson allegedly made unwanted sexual advances toward Gwendolyn Young, the human resources director at his company, Ferguson Enterprises Inc.
Young has accused Ferguson of grabbing her breasts at a Christmas party in 2007, as well as showing her a picture of his genitals at a separate date. In addition, Ferguson allegedly told co-workers he wanted to have sex with Young. In August 2009, he allegedly told Young that he would “like to get some of that.” Although Young complained about the behavior, Ferguson only ceased his actions for “a short respite” before resuming the unwanted sexual conduct.
Young said she was fired “without notice” in December 2009. She said Ferguson gave her the opportunity to resign but told her that her file would show she was terminated. Ferguson’s lawyer, Gerald Evelyn, said the allegations were “patently false.” He said Young’s dismissal was the result of slower business and other workers were also let go. “This is an employee he treated particularly well… who’s trying to exploit his legal situation,” said Evelyn.
The lawsuit states that Young decided to wait to take legal action because she “is in fear of … Ferguson, whom she believes is prone to violent outbursts.” Young is seeking over $25,000 in damages and has sought treatment for anxiety resulting from the sexual harassment incidents, said her attorney, Jim Acho. “This is a … woman who only wanted to do her job,” said Acho. “This is one of the cases you would expect to take place in the 1950s, not in the late 2000s. The way in which he treated her won’t be tolerated.” In December, Ferguson was indicted along with several other officials who were accused of a racketeering scheme involving the extortion of millions of dollars through water department contracts that were funded with taxpayer dollars.
In September 2010, Ferguson was indicted on eight federal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud and money laundering. Sexual harassment happens more often than anyone would like to believe, but unfortunately, not everyone that is hurt comes forward out of fear that the perpetrator will retaliate or make their work environment even more hostile. Unfortunately, sexual perpetrators do not stop their behaviors willingly. If you or someone you know is suffering as the victim of sexual harassment, speak to a top sexual harassment lawyer right away.
Sexual harassment can include several different behaviors, from a general lewd comment that someone overhears at work to a quid pro quo request for sexual favors to an overt sexual attack, such as rape. Regardless of the individual circumstances, no one should be placed in a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment leads the victim to feel embarrassed and fearful. For this reason, sexual harassment attorneys work diligently to ensure the perpetrator is held liable for their actions and that they can never harm another victim again.
Sexual harassment lawyers defend the rights of victims, as well as educate the victims’ co-workers on the dangers and consequences of unwanted sexual advances and behaviors. They will fight for your right to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering and make sure you receive the money damages and medical care you deserve for what has happened to you.
Don’t let another minute go by before speaking to a leading sexual harassment attorney to fight for your rights and ensure that the perpetrator pays for their crimes.