Last Updated Aug 10, 2010 2:44 PM EDT
In the case, sales rep Vivian Garriga was a successful rep at Novo Nordisk until March 2007 when she got a new boss, Brian Taylor, the ruling says. Here's what happened that year:
- Taylor asked everyone at his first district-wide staff meeting in early May to name the celebrity with whom they would like to have sex. Garriga was "speechless."
- Taylor called Garriga and her work partner, Shannon Duffy, by nicknames that Garriga perceived as sexual in nature and offensive.
- On May 17, during a two-day "ride-along" in which Taylor accompanied Garriga to her meetings with physicians, Taylor "put his arm around" Garriga in the parking lot of a restaurant. Taylor also "constant[ly]" leered at Garriga's breasts and backside.
- The same thing happened in June and another ride-along in July.
- Garriga complained of sexual harassment to Roger Arnell, a human resources representative, but Arnell decided that Garriga's story could not be corroborated.
- Taylor learned of Garriga's complaint on July 22.
- On August 1, Taylor placed Garriga on a "coaching worksheet," a tool used by Novo Nordisk to evaluate employee performance and identify skills that need improvement. The coaching worksheet required an employee to spend more time with her supervisor.
- Garriga and Duffy arranged to pay for a meal for a doctor, his wife and their boyfriends as if it were a training presentation -- a violation of PhRMA rules.
- Taylor learned of the meal the next day and recommended to HR that Garriga be fired.
- Novo fired Garriga on Sept. 6.
- While sales reps should not be buying non-educational meals for doctors, that practice is nonetheless widespread. The idea that Novo was shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that one of its successful reps was using her expenses budget to wine-and-dine influential clients is implausible.
- Taylor's response to Garriga's complaint was to place her in a supervision program that gave him more face-time with Garriga. In what way is this a sensible program that discourages sexual harassment?
Instead, the ruling creates a set of perverse incentives for sales managers to continue harassing their female workers by enrolling them in non-compliant sales programs and supervision programs that only enhance their access to the staff they're victimizing.
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