In her complaint, O’Steen claims that John Webb continuously sexually harassed her and other female employees by making inappropriate comments and touching them unwantedly. Webb is also accused of showing O’Steen a website for swingers telling her he could look at the site “all day long.” She alleges that during a foundation meeting Webb instructed a bartender to make her drink a double as “he had never seen her naked.” O’Steen says that Webb continuously made comments about her appearance, telling her to wear her hair up as it made her “look sexy” and to change her clothes to look sexy since she looked “like a schoolmarm.”
O’Steen, the former director of marketing, says that she reported John Webb on numerous occasions to the human resources director who said that she was trying “to no avail.” When up for promotion in 2014, Webb and O’Steen met at a bar to discuss the position, where Webb proceeded to proposition O’Steen, allegedly saying that “office affairs are fine” and that if she went home with him he would “give [her] the best sex of [her] life.”
In 2015, HR investigated Webb in 2015 after multiple complaints received from female employees, the complaint says. He was forced to apologize and attend sexual harassment training, but following, the harassment declined and morphed into a “sort of gender-based animus” before his resignation in 2017.
Later, when O’Steen expressed interest in a vice president position that was open, she told the foundation’s current CEO, Angela Suggs, about her experiences with Webb. She recounted how Webb had said he would make her a vice president if she consented to his sexual demands. O’Steen claims that following this disclosure, Suggs began retaliating against her, moving her to a smaller, less prestigious office and telling her not to attend board meetings or contact higher-ups. Neither Webb or Suggs provided responses.
Carney Shegerian, the founder of Los Angeles-based employee rights law firm Shegerian & Associates, has weighed in on Google’s new forced arbitration policy.
“No woman should be subject to such behavior,” says Shegerian, “Ms. O’Steen repeatedly rejected Webb’s advances and found her job unjustly terminated because of it.”
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