On Friday, April 26, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that 42-year-old Renee Mihalik can proceed with a lawsuit against a financial services company that claims she was fired for objecting to sexual harassment, even though there is evidence that suggests she performed her job poorly.
According to The Associated Press, Mihalik is seeking $5 million in damages from brokerage house Credit Agricole Cheuvreux North America Inc., claiming that the company's chief executive officer, Ian Peacock, propositioned her for sex, commented on her appearance and engaged in other inappropriate actions while she was employed under him.
Circuit Judge Denny Chin stated in his opinion that although Mihalik may have been fired for poor job performance, a jury should be allowed to determine whether Peacock actually used her shortcomings as an excuse to punish her for rejecting his advances. In her lawsuit, Mihalik alleged that she was terminated for these reasons, stating that Peacock asked her, "'What's not working out? Me and you or me at the company?'"
"If a jury so found, it would be free to infer that Cheuvreux is using Mihalik's poor performance now as a mere cover-up for retaliation,'' noted the appeals court. "Even a poorly performing employee is entitled to an environment free from sexual harassment.''
Brian Heller, the lawyer representing Mihalik, said that it's important for all workers to be protected from sexual harassment, regardless of the quality of their work.
If you live in Missouri and have been the victim of sexual harassment or gender discrimination, you can take a stand against the perpetrator. Consider scheduling a consultation with an affordable lawyer in Kansas City. These experienced and locally based professionals can assess your claim, try your case in court and help you recover damages you may be entitled to.