Male Domino’s Worker Harassed by Female Boss Awarded $237,000
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ David Papa’s boss at Domino’s Pizza told him not to bend over because it turned her on.
For five months, the woman made comments about his body, grabbed his buttocks and put her arms around his waist. Six days after he told her to stop, she fired him.
A federal judge has now ordered the pizza chain to pay Papa $237,000 in damages in the first case the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ever took to trial involving a woman harassing a man.
``When it first happened, people didn’t want to hear it. My friends were like, `Why didn’t you just sleep with her? You had a woman coming on to you,‴ Papa said Wednesday.
``But this was about my career. I take my job very seriously. I felt very embarrassed, having her touching me, saying these things to me. It made me feel self-conscious and awkward,″ he said.
Papa was repeatedly harassed in 1988 by his area supervisor, Beth Carrier, according to the verdict, issued Friday by U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams Jr.
At the time, Papa was 25, newly divorced and had just gained custody of his 3-year-old son. He had worked for Domino’s for two years and had been promoted to manager of a store in Port Richey, about 35 miles northwest of Tampa.
He was earning about $350 a week, and averaged $600 in monthly bonuses. Just before firing him, Carrier nominated him for Manager of the Year.
Several times, Papa said, Carrier touched him on the shoulders and buttocks, squeezed his buttocks and made comments about his body.
At a business meeting, Carrier told him not to bend over because it ``turns me on.″ Another time, while making pizza dough, Carrier told Papa her bra had slipped off and asked him if that turned him on.
At a meeting with two other store workers, Carrier told Papa she loved him and wanted to live with him and his son.
``I was so frustrated, I really lost my temper and said, `Get out of my office.′ That was the big blowup,″ Papa said.
Six days later, Carrier fired Papa, saying he was improperly paying a driver from the store’s mileage account rather than its labor account. The judge ruled that Carrier earlier had told Papa that using the mileage account was allowed.
He ordered Domino’s to pay Papa $237,257, post a policy on sexual harassment in each of its stores, and hold sexual-harassment training every year for its managers.
The verdict came one year after a nonjury trial.
``It was probably pretty unique to have this type of case and to have it go as far as it went,″ EEOC lawyer Karen Khan said.
Domino’s spokeswoman Maggie Proctor said the company had not yet seen the verdict and had no comment. Domino’s would not say where Carrier is now, and the EEOC did not know.
After being fired, Papa took a series of jobs working at a sandwich shop, as a pizza delivery man and as a restaurant cook.
``When I told (prospective employers) I was sexually harassed by a female supervisor, people had a hard time with that. They didn’t buy it,″ said Papa, who now attends Stetson University and hopes to go to law school.