State Farm Sued For Sexual Harassment
Kristi Mitchell and Veronica Cobb both worders for State Farm insurance agent Obie Sorrell filed a lawsuit against him and the parent company alleging sexual harassment. The two women also are claiming a hostile work environment. Mitchell is the office office manager with over 7 years with the company while Cobb was hired as a customer service manager in May. State Farm in headquartered in Bloomington Illinois. With offices in Peoria and Chicago I see many cases like this were the boss creates a hostile work environment and the corporate office only cases about how it may affect them.
According to the lawsuit Sorrell repeatedly made vile comments to both women and called Cobb a "prostitute" and a "whore". Allegedly he said she was sleeping with policyholders. The lawsuit alleges that Sorrell would put his hands on both women even though they asked him to stop. Mitchell and Cobb complained to two State Farm officials, about Sorrell's alleged behavior, but nothing was done and the sexual harassment continued. The two women claim at one point State Farm executives apologized to them but were only interested in if the women were going to file a lawsuit.
When Cobb asked Sorrell not to call her a prostitute, according to the complaint, Sorrell replied, "This is my shop. My name is on the sign and if you don't like it you can get out."
Comments like that are a form of retaliation in Illinois. If a boss or management threatens a negative job action because you are trying to complain about sexual harassment or otherwise stop the sexual harassment you can file a claim with the Illinois Department of Human Rights.