Three women accuse insurance firm of racial bias and sexual harassment


Three former female management trainees of the Monumental Life Insurance Co. in Baltimore have accused the company and two supervisors of racial discrimination and sexual harassment, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday.

According to court documents, one supervisor insisted on showing one of the plaintiffs a "rope trick," tied her hands in front of her, "pulled on the rope and dragged her several feet across the office floor."

The lawsuit claims that similar incidents frequently occurred at Monumental between June 1995 and last month.

The women also claim that opportunities for advancement were closed to them because of their gender.

The plaintiffs made more than 30 allegations of sexual and racial discrimination.

In the court papers, a second woman says a different supervisor "approached [her] from behind and put his hand inside her blouse."

The three claim that when they complained, they were reprimanded for speaking out.

One of the former employees was demoted in October. The second says her salary plummeted from $45,000 to about $12,000 -- without her knowledge -- leading her to resign.

The third claims she was unable to collect unemployment benefits after her termination in January because Monumental falsified her earnings statement, according to court documents.

Attempts to reach company officials last night were unsuccessful.

Pub Date: 12/21/96

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