GENERAL EXTRUSIONS Lawsuit details claim of sexual harassment

The suit contends the company fostered a hostile work environment.
YOUNGSTOWN -- An attorney for General Extrusions says a woman who contends she was subjected to sexual harassment failed to properly avail herself of the company's sexual harassment policy.
Cleveland Atty. Nicholas D. Satullo is defending the Boardman company, and said the claims should not be considered.
Youngstown Atty. Martin S. Hume filed the lawsuit in Akron federal court last month on behalf of Nancy Parker, 48, of East Pasadena Avenue.
Parker was hired as a fabricator in August 2000 and discharged in February 2004, the lawsuit states. She then filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Suit details EEOC report
The lawsuit claims the EEOC turned up documents and testimony proving that Parker was subjected to gender-based harassment, sexual harassment and a sexually hostile work environment, according to a letter the EEOC sent to both Parker and General Extrusions last summer.
The letter, a copy of which was included in the lawsuit, says Parker had to deal with verbal comments of a lewd and sexual nature, unwelcome physical touching, derogatory references to women, obscenities, and that male co-workers wore torn clothing that exposed their genitals and buttocks.
Witness statements suggest that Parker's supervisor was aware of the workplace atmosphere.
According to the letter, the EEOC concluded that General Extrusions failed to take appropriate steps to maintain a workplace free of unlawful harassment.
The letter also states that the company's failure to take corrective action to eliminate the harassment, which interfered with Parker's ability to perform her job, caused her to become ostracized among her co-workers and resulted in medical leaves of absence and her discharge in February 2004.
Company's stand
Satullo said in court papers that Parker was not discharged and that she resigned her employment and an unconditional offer to reinstate her was made July 28, 2004. He said she was not harmed in any way and General Extrusions acted properly and reasonably in dealing with her.
The suit claims Parker lost wages, benefits, incurred damage to her reputation and suffered severe emotional distress. It asks for back pay, restoration of benefits, compensation in excess of $1 million, punitive damages, attorney fees and more.
The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin.