(CBS) — Employees at a Chicago area company say they were groped, shoved and assaulted on the job.
When their complaints went nowhere, they took legal action, CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
Former co-workers Allen Fuesting and Laurie Garza describe a climate of sexual harassment and hostility at Waukegan’s Uline plant. The alleged culprit: manager Scott Zingsheim, mentioned in a lawsuit filed against the shipping supplies company last week.
“He would tap between your legs into your genitals, rub your back, you just couldn’t get away,” Fuesting says.
“He would come up behind me and push himself against me and then lean in and put his mouth on my ear,” Garza says.
They are two of four current and former Uline employees who have filed suit, which comes after the Illinois Department of Human Rights found cause with their case, but years after the alleged harassment began.
Garza estimates at least 30 to 40 people were harassed over two departments.
The group even took their complaints to Uline’s HR department — in writing and in person. In one instance, a police report was even filed.
“Then, about three weeks later, I ended up getting fired … for being unhappy,” Fuesting says.
His complaints were deemed false. Then employees got a memo stating the manager, Zingsheim, had been promoted.
“You can be a billionaire company, but money can’t buy you morals. And obviously there are no morals there,” Garza says.
Uline attorney Laurence Barry would not comment on the lawsuit but did say Zingsheim’s transfer to corporate headquarters was not a promotion. He said Uline will be defending itself in court.