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#305708 - Sun Apr 30 2006 03:31 AM Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
vendome Offline
Prolific

Registered: Sun May 21 2000
Posts: 1778
Loc: Body: PA USA Heart: Paris   
The Associated Press
Updated: 8:16 p.m. ET April 28, 2006


FRESNO, Calif. - A saleswoman who was spanked in front of her co-workers as part of what her employer said was a camaraderie-building exercise will get $1.7 million in damages.

A Fresno jury agreed with Janet Orlando on Friday that she suffered sexual harassment and sexual battery during the paddlings overseen by the security alarm company she worked for before quitting two years ago.

Jurors first awarded her $500,000 to compensate her for emotional distress, pain, suffering, past economic losses and future medical costs. They then added $1.2 million in punitive damages.

Employees were paddled with rival companies' yard signs as part of a contest that pitted sales teams against each other, according to court documents. The winners poked fun at the losers, throwing pies at them, feeding them baby food, making them wear diapers and swatting their buttocks.

"No reasonable middle-aged woman would want to be put up there before a group of young men, turned around to show her buttocks, get spanked and called abusive names, and told it was to increase sales and motivate employees," her lawyer, Nicholas "Butch" Wagner, said in his closing argument on Wednesday.

Lawyers for Alarm One said the spankings were part of a voluntary program to build camaraderie and were not discriminatory because they were given to both male and female workers.

"This is being done for one reason and one reason only — money," said K. Poncho Baker, the company's lawyer.

Alarm One officials ceased the practice in 2004, the year Orlando sued, after another employee complained of being injured, according to court records.
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I'd like to meet the person who thought of this attempt at "camaradery" and the manager who approved it for implmentation. Wearing diapers, pie throwing and humiliation are behaviors associated with a circus or a pre-school, not a professional corporation. Employees are already sensative about workplace problems such as male/female salary inequities, ineffective managers, etc. To have them minimized and ridiculed by inappropriate managerial conduct is the stuff from which great lawsuits are made.

I can't believe this company was too stupid to realize it.
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#305709 - Sun Apr 30 2006 09:54 AM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18604
Loc: California USA
I cannot believe that in California where there's a hair trigger for lawsuits, that some idiot would suggest this sort of thing.
I will go on record as someone who had a lot of fraternity boys in my classes as a prof, I bet it was someone who came from that background. Plus whenever anyone protests, they treat them like an outsider and spoilsport.

I've seen a few dumb stunts, but this really seems to take the cake.
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#305710 - Sun Apr 30 2006 12:17 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
ladymacb29 Offline
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Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15702
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
I would have sued too, and I'm usually the first person to denounce those money-seeking lawsuits.
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#305711 - Mon May 01 2006 03:06 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
If this is what they do out in the world then imagine what they get up to at home???

I do wonder what future medical problems she will have.

And whatever happened to paintball being good for company morale?

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#305712 - Mon May 01 2006 04:03 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18604
Loc: California USA
You know how many silly things like this I've seen around here since I got back to America? A barrel.
I think what really gets me down is that I'm the first one who has a sense of humour, but, I draw the line at making anyone feel left out, sad or what have you just for the sake of some silly idea someone's come up with.

Corporations sometimes hire consultants with silly schemes like this and end up paying them a lot of money for it.

I remember we had to get up and turn around to rearrange our thoughts at some weird meeting.
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#305713 - Mon May 01 2006 04:36 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
Copago Offline
Moderator

Registered: Tue May 15 2001
Posts: 14384
Loc: Australia
Quote:

Corporations sometimes hire consultants with silly schemes like this and end up paying them a lot of money for it.





I've never worked anywhere that did any more for company morale than provide a carton of beer on a Friday night. It's not something I'm sorry about.

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#305714 - Mon May 01 2006 04:44 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 12911
Loc: Western Canada
I'm going to a conference this weekend, and you bet there will be something stupid set up for us to do, as "team building" and "just for fun". Yuck. Ours are not usually humiliating, just silly and a waste of time.
Especially annoying when you know that the motivatinal speaker, flown in from the States, is probably being paid so much more than the local expert giving a seminar on something you actually want to know.

I bet the consultant who came up with the paddling idea was paid big bucks for it - also bet he won't pay a dime of those damages. You're right, Heather, frat boys. If it was middle aged women coming up with the motivational schemes they would be so much MORE motivational - do well, and you will get paid more and get to go home early. But then, that wouldn't be 'fun'.

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#305715 - Mon May 01 2006 04:51 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
ladymacb29 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Wed Mar 15 2000
Posts: 15702
Loc: The Delta Quadrant
I hate those team building and motivational speaker things... (No offense to anyone who does that for a living!)

To me, it reminds me of Girl Scouts when we'd sit around talking about self-esteem. My aunt's troop did cool stuff like go to Boston or Washington DC... but what did mine do...? Oh, talk about self-esteem. (And it didn't help much, mine's not the best!)

Those trust exercises like the trust fall (where you stand with your back to the group on a platform and let the group catch you) are just silly. Yeah, the only reason the group is going to catch me is because they know I'll have to go to the hospital if they don't. Then they'll have to pick up the slack and I'll sue them for dropping me.

The motivational speakers are boring - you know what motivates me more in my job? Actually getting paid at the rate that others get paid. As it is, none of us can afford to actually live in even an apartment without a roommate! Yeah, if I had a little bit better pay, that would motivate me better. Until then, I think I just doodle when those people talk, since they can't 'show me the money'.

Oops, sorry for the rant!
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#305716 - Mon May 01 2006 05:02 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
AlienGoddess Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Tue Feb 17 2004
Posts: 4435
Loc: Pleasanton California USA   
This whole thing is utterly ridiculous, and just plain wrong!

Thank goodness that I know my bosses would NEVER come up with idiotic and inane ideas such as this, much less actually make us do them!

I have one word for this: unprofessional.
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#305717 - Mon May 01 2006 05:32 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18604
Loc: California USA
I'll tell you one of the worst things I saw was at a church group many years ago. They had some wacko giving a seminar on self esteem or something he wanted to show everyone. He also did the ever-popular trust thing where you fall and someone catches you.
He had the teens get into groups and describe themselves and how they were attractive or beautiful.
Well, one of the young women had coke bottle glasses, severe acne, long stringy hair, and she was way overweight as in those days, you didn't really see as many truly overweight teens. And yet, she managed to do this exercise with a smile though many of the others were embarrassed as, even with the kindest heart, you had to wonder how she managed to overcome first impressions when sometimes kids can be so cruel!
I think it was one of the most troubling things I ever experienced because I realized that, regardless of how I felt bad about my looks, she had to overcome a lot more prejudice than any of us did.

Another thing that really makes me blow my top is that someone who doesn't want to go along with a prank, or a joke or an idiotic 'morale building' game or technique, is branded an outsider and party pooper!
I recently went ahead and complained about something that really was making people uncomfortable and I was NOT exaggerating, therefore the person who asked me why I was looking so down, believed me instantly. I just said, 'well, I think it's probably me, being old fashioned and all that, but, this really bugs me and I feel bad about being the only one it bugs.' turns out that there were many others, but they basically did not get bugged by it the same way and just thought it was part of the routine and the camaraderie.
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#305718 - Wed May 03 2006 12:47 PM Re: Woman Gets $$$ For Office Spanking
elburcher Offline
Explorer

Registered: Wed Sep 11 2002
Posts: 55
Loc: San Diego, CA
The correct term for what happened is called Hazing which is "To persecute or harass with meaningless, difficult, or humiliating tasks" and it is WRONG!
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One moment of insight is sometimes worth a lifetime of experience. -Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

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