Harassment suit names Hanover firm, ex-worker

September 25, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

Two women who worked for a Hanover asbestos abatement firm filed suit against their former boss yesterday, claiming in Circuit Court that he sexually harassed them for months until he was fired, and kept harassing them by telephone until they quit.

Kathleen Britt of Pasadena and Dawn Rakowski of Kenosha, Wis., allege in their $20 million suit that Gregory L. Bauer of Hanover harassed them last summer until he was dismissed as their supervisor at Control Resource Systems Inc., an Indiana-based asbestos abatement firm.

The suit, filed with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, names Mr. Bauer and CRSI as co-defendants and seeks $10 million in punitive and compensatory damages for each woman.

Mr. Bauer, contacted by telephone yesterday, denied the allegations. He declined further comment and referred questions to his attorney, Daniel J. Bartolini, who declined comment.

A spokesman for CRSI also declined comment.

According to the suit, Ms. Britt began working at CRSI as a telephone sales and customer service representative April 22, 1991 and Ms. Rakowski was hired as an administrative assistant about four months later.

Soon after each woman was hired, Mr. Bauer, then their office manager, "began an escalating, wrongful and unwelcome assault of verbal and physical sexual harassment" aimed at them, the suit alleges.

The suit says that Mr. Bauer repeatedly forced himself physically on the women, called them derogatory names in front of co-workers and threatened to retaliate if they refused to have sex with him.

The suit breaks the complaint down into specific incidents of alleged harassment for each woman. It alleges, for example, that Mr. Bauer followed Ms. Britt into a bathroom Aug. 5, 1991, "and told her that he wanted to have sexual intercourse with her."

On other occasions, he fondled her, according to the suit.

After work, Aug. 29, 1991 he allegedly "invited himself" to join Ms. Britt and Ms. Rakowski for a drink. Afterward, while walking with Ms. Britt to her car, he placed her on top of it and "forced kisses on her repeatedly."

In the suit, Ms. Rakowski alleges similar incidents.

She says she was also called names, forcibly kissed and fondled.

Ms. Britt resigned Jan. 29 and Ms. Rakowski resigned a week later, according to the suit. The first working day after Ms. Rakowski's resignation, Ms. Britt suffered an anxiety attack and "was advised by her physicians that she should not return to that work environment," according to the suit.

A spokesman for the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission said yesterday that its reports are kept confidential.

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