Peter G. Christian
Lauren D’ Cruz
Schaefer Halleen, LLC
412 South Fourth Street, Suite 1050
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Former Female Director Sues Employer Alleging That Her Participation in a Human Resources Investigation of CEO’s Sexual Harassment Led to Her Termination
MINNEAPOLIS, August 8, 2019—Stacey Stein has sued her former employer, Fang Consulting, for retaliation under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Stein – who served as the Director of Business Development and Marketing for Fang – alleges that she was wrongfully terminated for participating in an investigation conducted by the company’s Human Resources function into the sexual harassment she experienced from Fang’s Chief Executive Officer.
Stein’s Complaint – filed in Hennepin County on August 7, 2019 – describes how she endured and observed sexually charged and other outrageous conduct from CEO, Tracy Eberly during her employment. This conduct included Eberly chiding her about “having a big butt,” cursing and belittling clients and employees, and asking inappropriate questions about her underwear. The Complaint explains how the company’s Human Resources department initiated an investigation into Eberly’s behavior after he exclaimed that Stein had a “fat butt” at the company Christmas party. The Complaint makes clear that Stein participated in the investigation at HR’s request and shared her concerns about Eberly’s previous conduct. Only 10 business days later, Eberly terminated her. While the company claimed that the termination was related to performance, the Complaint describes how that justification lacks credibility, given that Stein had been an extremely high performing Director and the company had never previously communicated any issues about her performance before she participated in the HR investigation.
“It is clear Minnesota law that an employer cannot terminate an employee for participating in a discrimination or harassment investigation,” said Stein’s attorney, Peter Christian of Schaefer Halleen, LLC. “Cases like this are what give women and all victims of workplace sexual harassment pause when deciding to stand up and report wrongdoing or otherwise trust a company’s HR department to fairly and confidentially handle the inappropriate conduct of company leadership,” said Christian. “We believe the court will determine that Ms. Stein’s termination was clear retaliation for sticking her neck out and sharing her concerns about the leader of the company,” added Christian.
For More Information
To review the background of Schaefer Halleen, LLC, and the groundbreaking discrimination, whistleblower, and retaliation cases Peter Christian, Lauren D’Cruz, and Schaefer Halleen have prosecuted, please visit www.schaeferhalleen.com. The publicly filed Complaint is available on this website as well.