Smith & Wesson denies ex-employee’s harassment claim

Iconic gun maker Smith & Wesson denies claims by an ex-employee that her supervisor sexually harassed her during the last few years working at the company’s Massachusetts’s manufacturing facility.

Smith & Wesson asked the court to dismiss the claims and award it any costs associated with the case as well as relief deemed appropriate, according to the answer filed last week in federal court.

The company says the ex-employee failed “to take advantage of preventative or corrective opportunities … to avoid harm” from any harassment.

“Any actions taken by Smith & Wesson with respect to (her) employment resulted from legitimate, non-discriminatory business considerations, which (she) cannot prove were a pretext for unlawful discrimination,” the response says in response to why the plaintiff quit.

The plaintiff in the case, a woman who worked as a machine operator for the company for more than a decade, filed the case against Smith & Wesson and her former supervisor in December.

Her lawsuit says her supervisor started making sexual comments and jokes toward her in 2011 and she reported the behavior in July 2014, after the harassment escalated. In response, human resources acknowledged the report, but still required the two to work together.

Less than a year later, in March 2015, she was forced to leave her job because her supervisor began to unfairly attack her performance and micromanage her tasks, the lawsuit says.