lawsuit alleges racial and sexual harassment at law firm

Saw this on Above the Law... In Richmond, Virginia, a former employee of Williams Mullen is suing the law firm, charging sexual harassment and discrimination in U.S. District Court. The lawsuit asks for $950,000 in punitive damages plus legal fees: Suit Alleges Harassment at Williams Mullen.

Hanh Nguyen Algood, who is from Vietnam, was records manager at the law firm from 1989 to March 2007. In the federal court filing, she alleges that one of the firm's partners, Robert E. Eicher, once asked her if "her vagina was horizontal or vertical." The suit also describes what's referred to as the "cucumber incident":
The suit further alleges that Eicher had several sexual relationships with employees and publicly described his sexual encounters with them. The suit describes what's referred to as the "cucumber incident," in which Eicher allegedly pressed suggestively against various women at the firm before extracting a cucumber from his pants pocket. Allgood says Eicher hugged her in an elevator and pressed the cucumber against her thigh in a sexually suggestive manner.
But wait! At Williams Mullen, the fun doesn't stop there. The lawsuit alleges that another partner, Douglas Nabhan, made racially derogatory comments, suggesting that Allgood prepared her meals with dogs and cats and referring to Allgood's then-husband, who is Hispanic, as a "wetback."

After several complaints, including ones made directly to the head of the firm's Virginia Beach office, no disciplinary action was taken. With all these alleged racial and sexual harassment incidents, it appears that no one saw any cause for concern. While Allgood was promised that "things would get better," the lawsuit says her supervisors "treated her worse than ever."

These aren't the only legal troubles for the firm. Last year, six former employees and one employee still on the job filed discrimination claims with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging a hostile work environment and unequal terms and conditions of employment. More here: Racial Discrimination and Sexual Harassment - With a Cucumber? - Alleged at Williams Mullen.

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