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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Woman says employer ignored sexual harassment claims

By Annie Cosby | Jan 5, 2015

A Morris County woman is suing over claims her employer ignored her claims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Shalesa J. Hamilton filed a lawsuit Oct. 30 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas against U.S. Steel Oilwell Services, U.S. Steel Tubular Products. Inc., and Star Energy Group, citing sexual harassment.

According to the complaint, Hamilton was employed by U.S. Steel Oilwell Services, and the other defendants, at its Wheeling Machine Products plant in Hughes Springs in Cass County in April 2012, when she began to experience sexual harassment by her supervisor, Chris Martin. Hamilton says Martin made repeated inappropriate references to sexual contact as well as her race, grabbed her and demanded she hug him, and even said he would call security on Hamilton for going to the restroom if she did not perform a sexual favor.

The lawsuit states Hamilton requested to be moved to another department and complained on multiple occasions to another supervisor, Glyen Royal, who said he would talk to Martin and “take care of it," yet the harassment persisted with Royal also joining in. Hamilton says Royal made sexual comments to her and told her that her husband "needs to whip" her in order to make her "stay in a woman's place."

The complaint states Hamilton was aware that Martin and other supervisors were also harassing other female employees and decided the harassment would not stop, so she called the company's ethics hotline to file grievances against Martin.

According to the lawsuit, in January, Hamilton and her union rep reported Martin's harassment of her and an inappropriate relationship with another employee to human resources manager Jed Jones, who told Hamilton that “if he wanted to fire her, he would find a reason to fire her.”

Hamilton says she again complained of Martin's behavior to Royal in March 2014, but nothing was done, and that same month Martin resigned amid rumors that he had inappropriate sexual relations with another employee. The defendants are accused of negligence in failing to prevent, detect and promptly correct any
sexual harassment by supervisory employees.

Hamilton seeks compensatory and punitive damages, including interest, attorney fees and litigation expenses.

She is represented by attorney Craig M. Daugherty of Beard & Harris in Tyler.

Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas case number: 2:14-CV-01007-JRG-RSP

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