From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
A Trane supervisor intentionally subjected a supplier engineer to his sexually explicit mobile phone ringtone and the company did nothing to stop the harassment despite repeated complaints, Audrey Arrindell alleges in a federal lawsuit.
Arrindell says Bill Kennedy began playing a ringtone on his phone that mimicked the sound of a woman having an orgasm, soon after he became her immediate supervisor in March 2016. She told him she found it offensive, but Kennedy kept playing the ringtone and also tried to engage her in sex talk, Arrindell alleges in a lawsuit filed March 9 in federal court in Memphis, Tenn.
The case is a reminder that an employer’s obligation to provide a workplace free of sexual harassment may extend to devices and gadgets and how they’re used. And an employer’s response to harassment or other bias complaints may draw retaliation charges if the complaining employee believes the response was inadequate or misdirected.
“We cannot comment on pending litigation,” a spokeswoman for Ingersoll Rand, which also was named in the lawsuit, told Bloomberg Law in a March 12 email. Trane is an Ingersoll Rand subsidiary.
A Trane human resources representative kept putting Arrindell off after she began complaining about Kennedy and no investigation was ever conducted, Arrindell says. But Kennedy did respond, she said. He reduced her engineering role and responsibilities and ordered her to perform non-engineering work outside her job scope, including daily work in the warehouse.
Kennedy also began talking over her during staff meetings and intentionally avoiding any personal conversations with her, Arrindell says. He additionally prepared a retaliatory and incorrect review of her job performance and put her on a bogus performance improvement plan that was reversed by HR, Arrindell says.
HR later put Arrindell under a new supervisor from a different department who wasn’t an engineer, the lawsuit says. She was also put back on the same PIP on which Kennedy had tried to place her, Arrindell says, and the new supervisor had to consult Kennedy about her performance because, as a non-engineer, she didn’t understand the scope of Arrindell’s work, the lawsuit says.
The mistreatment resulted in Arrindell being stripped of leadership roles in several internal and external corporate organizations, including the National Society of Black Engineers, before being terminated in September 2016, according to the lawsuit.
The case is Arrindell v. Trane U.S., Inc., W.D. Tenn., No. 2:18-cv-02164, complaint filed 3/9/18.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)