Software
News
10/4/2010
03:13 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

BMC Saleswoman Sexually Harassed, Tribunal Finds

UK body also ruled the enterprise software company maintained a work atmosphere that was "degrading, humiliating, and offensive."

A British employment tribunal has fined BMC Software 35,000 British Pounds after a former sales rep claimed she was groped and otherwise sexually harassed by a colleague while on a business trip in Nashville, Tenn.

Nicola Furlong, who was a senior saleswoman at the enterprise software company, claimed that sales director Bart Fanelli put his hand up her skirt and said he wanted to "eat her like a marshmallow" during the 2008 Nashville trip, which allegedly included a night at a raucous Coyote Ugly bar.

"He grabbed me so hard that I felt his nail on my episiotomy scar," Furlong told the tribunal, according to a report Monday in the UK's Daily Mail. Furlong also claimed her boss at the time, Steve Williamson, warned her that reporting the incident would not help her career at BMC.

Furlong, a UK resident, also complained to the tribunal in Reading, England, that BMC's male sales reps boasted about taking clients to lapdance clubs in order to seal deals, creating an environment in which she was uncomfortable.

Employment Judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto ruled that Furlong's claims were well founded.

"So far as the claimant was encouraged not to make a complaint about Mr. Fanelli in 2008 we found it proven that there was intimidation to prevent the claimant from complaining about sexual harassment," Gumbiti-Zimuto ruled.

"The matters had a specific effect of violating claimant's dignity in the case of the Mr. Fanelli incident and all the matter had the cumulative effect of creating a degrading, humiliating, and offensive environment for the claimaint," the judge continued in his ruling.

"We are of the view that the nature of this conduct must have reasonably expected to cause offense," said Gumbito-Zimuto. BMC officials were not immediately able to provide a response to the tribunal's finding.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ≠products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ≠mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ≠distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.