In October 2015, Whitney began working part-time as restaurant server to supplement her family’s income. In February 2016, she was the victim of severe sexual harassment by a supervisor who, unknown to her, had a history of sexually harassing female servers.
In September 2016, attorneys Jason Gunter and Conor Foley filed a lawsuit against the employer for sexual harassment and negligent retention. The defense in a sexual harassment case is frequently to blame the victim and this case was no exception. Our firm prepared Whitney for this defense and she had the courage to engage in litigation.
Over the next year, the defendant employer sought invasive discovery including more than three years of Facebook and other social media posts, text messages, and photographs of the victim. The employer also contended that it had a sexual harassment policy in place to prevent harassment and that it had acted reasonably.
Attorney Gunter went on the offensive and took numerous depositions of employees and management, and subpoenaed personnel files and emails. It was discovered that the harasser had previously harassed other female servers who had complained to management.
A jury trial was set for July 2018. Shortly before trial, the employer agreed to a settlement of $1 Million rather than face the risk of a jury trial. Whitney refused to sign a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) so that her story could be shared with the hope that other sexual harassment victims will have the courage to come forward.
Jason Gunter, Esq.
Conor Foley, Esq.