Male Employee Claims Sexual Harassment by Female Supervisor

October 18, 2007 ( - A former male employee of a Pennsylvania air filtration and purification systems plant filed a sexual harassment suit in federal court that claimed his female supervisor exposed herself to him and called him degrading names and that the company ignored his complaints about the problem.

According to the 21-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Jose Cruz-Gonzales claimed that his supervisor, Tammy Palentay, subjected him to repeated sexual harassment, including pulling down his pants, exposing her breasts to him and calling him “baby bottoms” and “bootylicious.”

In July 2005, Cruz-Gonzales started working for the Precisionaire, Inc.’s Auburn, Pennsylvania plant, where he worked on the production line, putting air filters in heaters. He said he was subjected to “unwelcome sexual advances, touchings, overtures, and comments” by Palentay about two months after he was hired in September 2005.

Cruz-Gonzales said he complained to his supervisor and the company’s human resources department, but to no avail. He alleges that no action was taken with regard the complaints against Palentay, at which point he filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

However, Cruz-Gonzales was forced by company officials to resign his job at the plant, because he was allegedly threatening other subordinates of Palentay after they refused to help him with his claim. He had already been warned by higher-ups not to discuss his claims, according to the complaint.

Cruz-Gonzales also claims that his firing was discriminatory and was actually a retaliation because he refused his supervisor’s sexual advances.

He is asking for an award of more than $150,000, which includes front pay, back pay and compensatory and punitive damages.