Domino Sugar Parent Company to pay $13.4 million over Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

A federal
jury has awarded $13.4 million to Rosanna Mayo-Coleman who alleges she suffered
sexual harassment at a sugar refinery plant in Yonkers, New York owned by
Domino Sugar’s parent company. The lawsuit was brought by a storeroom
attendant, who worked at the refinery owned by American Sugar Holding, Inc. for
over 20 years. Mayo-Coleman alleges she was subjected to sexual harassment by a
new manager starting in 2008, who would regularly comment on her looks, solicit
romantic attention from her, and on one occasion, grabbed her behind in a
closed-door meeting. This manager would frequently make inappropriate and sexually
suggestive comments in-front of other workers. 

to the lawsuit, Mayo-Coleman complained to at least two supervisors during 2010
about the new manager’s behavior. Prior to filling the lawsuit, she claims she
called the company’s harassment hotline and went to Human Resources, where she
received no support. American Sugar Holding was also sued for discrimination
and retaliation. According to the lawsuit, Mayo-Coleman, the only female worker
in the storeroom, alleges she was constantly passed over for overtime
assignments for less senior male-coworkers.  Furthermore, that her manager constantly
delayed her paycheck by submitting paperwork late and once transferred her to
the sanitation department, which she categorized as a demotion, as a form of
retaliation after she rejected him and complained about the harassment.

is quoted saying, “I hope this award will encourage companies to do
something when their employees complain about sexual harassment, and that it
will give employers an incentive to do the right thing when employees complain
about discrimination in general. It didn’t have to come to this, it didn’t have
to go to court. I just wanted the company to protect me.”

This is
one of the biggest awards for a single plaintiff sex harassment case.


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