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Morton Buildings Under Fire in New Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

— May 27, 2020

After enduring repeated harassment and gender discrimination, two former employees of Morton Buildings are suing the company for damages.

Morton Buildings is facing a lawsuit filed by two women who allege they were “harassed and tormented by managers while working in a ‘Mad Men’ culture.” The gender discrimination lawsuit was filed back in March by Tracee Bartoletta. When commenting on the suit and what pushed her to finally file a lawsuit against her employer, she said:

“I was asked to prove that I’d actually done a sales presentation. In order to prove it, I had to dig through the trash on my hands and knees to get the evidence. I thought to myself I’ve never seen any man on his hands and knees in the trash.”

Image of a Workplace Discrimination Graphic
Workplace Discrimination Graphic; image courtesy of mohamed_hassan via Pixabay,

Bartoletta began working for Morton Buildings back in June 2016. She said, “I needed the job. I wanted my job. I was excited to be there, so the whole thing was soul-crushing and numbing.”

Specifically, the lawsuit accuses clients of “calling female sales representatives derogatory names, with no intervention from the company.” Additionally, it argues “a manager hit Bartoletta on the backside and brandished a baseball bat in the office to intimidate female employees.” At one point, a co-worker allegedly said, “that God created women by lining up all the men and castrating the stupid ones.”

Another woman who filed the suit with Bartoletta claims she was also harassed when a co-worker allegedly asked her a “sexually explicit question in front of a group.” However, attorneys representing Morton Buildings has pushed back against most of the allegations, though they did “admit that the company disciplined a male employee for making an inappropriate joke.”

That admission isn’t good enough for the plaintiffs. Bartoletta said, the harassment was intrinsic. She added, “It was systemic, from the top to the bottom. The boss of the boss of the boss knew what was going on, and they tolerated it.”

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Bartoletta attempted to resolve the matter via her human resources department. When HR refused to help, she ended up taking unpaid medical leave and “was diagnosed with PTSD.” Four months later, “she received a letter from the company four months later, while on leave, ending her employment.

This isn’t the first time the company has been accused of gender discrimination, though. In fact, Morton Buildings was hit with a lawsuit back in 2009 by a female employee after she was “denied a promotion and paid less than male co-workers.” According to that lawsuit, the woman said that, “in her ten years at the company, no woman held a management role.” That’s something that Bartoletta said hasn’t changed since that 2009 lawsuit was filed. She added:

“Morton Buildings is a good old boys club. Women make the coffee at Morton. The truth is really easy to remember, so I’m only speaking the truth. I’m speaking the truth for the ladies who are afraid to speak up, and in hopes that something changes and the right thing gets done. Women deserve a safe workplace.”


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