A former employee of SIG Sauer is suing the company, claiming that the gun manufacturer ignored her complaints about sexually oriented taunts and that it demoted her after she and a co-worker complained about the behavior.
According to a suit filed in U.S. District Court, Epping resident Pamela Bond said her boss discussed the sexual behavior of his wife, did not act on Bond’s complaints about other co-workers, commented on her body, and referred to her in a derogatory fashion.
According to the suit, when Bond complained, her boss gave her a performance review shortly afterward. Then the company reduced her hours, increased her performance requirements and demoted her, according to the suit.
“She was greatly distressed by the harassment she suffered by her supervisor and then further distressed by the lack of concern shown by human resources and others in management,” said her lawyer, Megan Douglas.
A telephone call and email left for SIG Sauer Chief Marketing Officer Tom Taylor was not returned Monday.
The company has asked a judge to order arbitration to settle the claims and produced a six-page agreement that Bond signed when she was hired that any disputes would be settled in private arbitration.
According to the suit, Bond started at the Newington-based company in September 2014. An unnamed co-worker taunted her sexually and at one point shot an air gun at her from behind.
Her immediate supervisor, Norman Perrone, took no action to stop it, and by the spring Perrone also had started sexually taunting Bond, the suit says.
When she asked him to stop his behavior, he threatened to fire her, the suit says.
“Mr. Perrone simultaneously increased performance and productivity demands for Ms. Bond, and he changed her work assignment such that she was forced to work with heavier materials,” the suit reads.
A co-worker reported the behavior to Human Resources Director Renet Dion, but Dion said she could not take the report because the co-worker was not a permanent employee.
Other complaints to Perrone’s supervisors went unheeded, the suit says.
Eventually, Perrone warned Bond about her attitude during a performance review, the suit says. When a co-worker started arguing with Bond, a shouting match broke out, and a security officer escorted Bond from the finishing department floor.
When she eventually returned to work, she was sent to work in the shipping department.
Douglass said Bond left the shipping department with a disability.