Seattle woman awarded $4.4 million in harassment suit - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Seattle woman awarded $4.4 million in harassment suit

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Associated Press - November 10, 2007 5:35 PM ET

SEATTLE (AP) - A Seattle woman has been awarded $4.4 million in her harassment suit against Goodyear.

Melissa Sheffield says she was antagonized and harassed because of her sexual orientation at the Goodyear store where she worked in Seattle and says she was demoted after she complained.

Her attorney, Daniel F. Johnson, says the jury award sends a message to employers in Washington that discrimination and retaliation will not be tolerated.

Sheffield began working for Goodyear in 1994 and worked her way up to manager of a store near Northgate Mall.

Goodyear says the harassment began in 2003 when new managers were appointed to supervise her. One made sure she knew he didn't like gays. She complained and eventually that manager was fired. At the same time, she was demoted and her pay was cut.

The company says her demotion stemmed from her own misconduct.

Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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