Sexual Racial Harassment With Pagan Ritual Lawsuit Filed Vs. Ricoh USA.
Electronics company forced Norfolk woman into pagan ritual to exorcise demons from office, lawsuit says
By Scott Daugherty.
NORFOLK, Unwanted sexual advances from a boss, demeaning comments about gender and heritage and forced participation in a “pagan ritual” to exorcise demons from the workplace.
Those are just a few of the allegations a Norfolk woman – and accused “demon” – is claiming in a $2.3 million sexual and racial harassment lawsuit against her former employer, Ricoh USA.
Patricia Lindsey said she endured the discriminatory treatment for more than seven years before she was fired in November.
Jeremiah “Jake” Denton IV, Lindsey’s attorney, declined to comment.
John Greco, a Ricoh USA spokesman, said the Pennsylvania-based imaging and electronics company denies the allegations and plans to fight them in court.
“Ricoh has very strong anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and offers employees multiple ways to report any inappropriate behavior,” he said in an email. “The company does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind.”
Lindsey filed her lawsuit late last month in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.
According to the 26-page complaint, she started working for Ricoh in June 2008, and the problems began about one year later when she got a new supervisor, Robert Staton.
In explicit detail, the lawsuit alleges that Staton repeatedly solicited sexual favors from Lindsey and then retaliated against her when she said no and reported him to Human Resources. It was one of more than 10 such reports she made, the suit said.
It also said that in June 2009, Lindsey politely asked Staton to stop using abusive language while speaking with her, and he told her to stop talking back to him: “A woman should never speak to a man like that.”
“Mr. Staton further stated that he did not have time for Ms. Lindsey’s objections to his conduct and Ms. Lindsey needed to listen to him and do as he says because he is a man and she was only a woman,” the lawsuit said.
In September 2015, Lindsey started reporting to a different supervisor, who in turn reported to Staton.