United Parcel Service has been hit hard in a sexual harassment lawsuit. After years of refusing to address multiple allegations that its Shrewsbury, Massachusetts warehouse is run amok with abusive supervisors who lack even a fundamental understanding of discrimination laws, the company will now pay dearly. It was not only ordered to pay $50,000 in damages to Thomas Sobocinski — a figure that ballooned to more than $125,000 with interest and legal fees — but now must train hundreds of supervisors across Massachusetts on the basics of sexual harassment and discrimination law. The training order alone will likely cost UPS hundreds of thousands of dollars.
To those familiar with UPS’s approach to manager/employee relations, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination judgment is no suprise. UPS is reputed to run roughshod over its workers and punish those who dare to complain. Its Shrewsbury, Massachusetts warehouse, where Mr. Sobocinski works, is rife with abusive and sexually explicit language, as described by UPS managers themselves. Despite broad training on internal UPS systems, managers there are not taught about discrimination laws or held accountable for violating them. The result is broad anecdotal evidence of abuse by management that may have persisted for decades. [Read more…]