Big Vanilla in Pasadena and Arnold Faces EEOC Lawsuit

Big Vanilla in Pasadena and Severna Park is being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of four women for the sexual harassment of all four women and the firing of three of them in retaliation for complaining, according to the Maryland Daily Record and the Baltimore Examiner.

Dawn Wooden, Joella Hopkins, Melissa Mendez, and Michelle Cabral said they had been subjected to “repeated, unwanted, sexually offensive remarks and sexual advances” by co-workers and supervisors since December 2006. The commission said the women were discriminated against by Big Vanilla based on their sex and their work environment was “sexually hostile” because of offensive comments and unwanted touching. When they complained, Big Vanilla fired them (with the apparent exception of Ms. Mendez).

The EEOC said it is seeking monetary and injunctive relief against Big Vanilla, including back wages and compensatory damages for the employees, and changes in Big Vanilla’s employment policies.

Debra Lawrence, the EEOC supervisory trial attorney, said that while the lawsuit against Big Vanilla currently involves four women, “there are more in the works.”