New York, NY – After more than 30 years of sexual harassment in the workplace, one New York City waitress has had enough. The 62-year-old woman (the Plaintiff), who wishes to remain unnamed, is suing the Village Vanguard, a prominent Jazz club in New York City, in response to her termination after years of sexual harassment and ageist comments made against her.
The Plaintiff alleges that her manager at the Village Vanguard, Jed Eisenman, made unwelcome and repeatedly refused sexual advances on her for more than 30 years, often attempting to use his power to fire her or lessen her hours as leverage. He started harassing her shortly after he was hired in 1980 and continued the harassment as he rose through the ranks of management, often grabbing her breasts and buttocks while pressuring her to sleep with him. The Plaintiff alleges that Eisenman once wrapped his hands around her neck as if he was about to strangle her when she again refused his advances. While the Plaintiff had told upper management of these abuses in later years, no attempts were made on their parts to rectify the situation.
As the Plaintiff aged, Eisenman (who was still sexually harassing her) often remarked that she and another waitress over 40 were past their prime and should be fired simply based on their ages. When the Plaintiff took a leave of absence from her position to recover from an emotional breakdown-in part from working in a hostile work environment-in 2011, she was assured that her job was safe, as were the jobs of several younger waitresses who had taken leaves of absence in the past. This time, however, the club decided not to allow the Plaintiff to resume her duties at the end of her leave, stating that she had “worked [there] long enough.” The Club proceeded to fire the rest of the waitresses over 40 in March 2012.
The Queens, NY, law firm, White, Ricotta & Marks, P.C., a boutique firm specializing in employment law, is representing the Plaintiff in this matter. Vincent White, a senior partner in the firm says that they “are committed to finding justice and making sure that the Plaintiff is fairly compensated for her years of abuse, culminating in her unjust termination.” He alleges that Village Vanguard was grossly negligent in allowing the abuse to continue and that they clearly fired the Plaintiff illegally, based on her age.
White has filed the case with the Southern District of New York, Federal Court. “Employees have the right to feel safe in their work environments and should never have to face such inappropriate and abusive behavior,” says White. “We intend to make every effort to ensure the Plaintiff feels satisfied with the outcome of this case. She has worked hard her whole life and deserves a safe and non-discriminatory work environment. In the absence of those conditions, she deserves just compensation for her losses.”
About White, Ricotta & Marks, P.C.
The law office of White, Ricotta & Marks, P.C., (www.queensemploymentattorney.com) focuses expressly on employment law and discrimination in the workplace. The boutique group operates a main office in Jackson Heights, NY, and an additional office in Westbury, Long Island. They serve clients in Manhattan, Astoria, Bayside, Corona, Elmhurst, Flushing, Forest Hills, Howard Beach, Jamaica, Kew Gardens, Ozone Park, Richmond Hill, Douglaston, Great Neck and Little Neck, as well as in the boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, and throughout Nassau County.