On April 15th, nude dancer Jodi Noelle Durfee filed a suit against a Portland strip club owner, Patrick Benjamin Schwartzkopf, accusing her ex-manager of sexually harassing her and then retaliating when she complained about his behavior.
The ex-dancer and bartender said Mr. Schwartzkopf groped her while inebriated and under the influence of cocaine, while she worked at the Skinn Nightclub in Northeast Portland, Oregon.
Durfee began working at the club in December 2012. According to court documents, she said that Schwarzkopf slapped and grabbed her – often inappropriately touching her in front of customers. She also said he talked to the bar’s customers about her sex life.
Durfee said she made it very clear that she did not appreciate this behavior and told him to stop doing it.
She also alleges that Schwartzkopf told one of his customers that he was going to fire her for fending off his sexual advances. In February, she went to the silent partner and co-owner of the club, Steven Hopkins, to complain about this abysmal treatment. Durfee says that Hopkins told her that her job was safe. Two days later, however, she was fired.
Durfees’s sexual harassment lawsuit seeks $250,000 in damages.
Obviously, without knowing more particulars, we cannot assess the claim. But just to show that sexual harassment is not a problem limited to dance bars… consider another disturbing story out of Washington County, Arkansas, where three female deputies lost their jobs after a male employee claimed he heard the women discussing sexually inappropriate conversations at work.
According to a local attorney, George Butler: “Any conversation of a sexual nature that is unwelcome, either by males or females, can be considered sexual harassment, and that’s taken seriously.”
Sexually harassed employees often don’t know how to get unpleasant behavior to stop. This lack of knowledge leads them to do nothing, which is a shame.
If you or someone you care about was sexual harassed or did not receive overtime pay at time and half, the team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum wants to hear from you. We can help. Call us today at (212) 688-5640 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for thorough, compassionate help with your matter.