Ex-employee files sexual harassment suit against Smith & Wesson

A woman says her ex-supervisor at Smith & Wesson’s manufacturing facility in Springfield, Massachusetts, harassed her regularly and the company did little to address the issue after she reported it to human resources.

Susan Leduc, of Springfield, named both the gun maker and her ex-supervisor, Jorge Barone, in the civil suit filed in a Massachusetts federal court on Dec. 23.

According to the complaint, Leduc worked as a machine operator for Smith & Wesson for 11 years. In August 2011, Barone started making sexual comments about her body and his own, and routinely made sexual jokes such as “that’s what she said” jokes.

Leduc reported the inappropriate behavior to human resources in July 2014, which the company acknowledged, but moving forward the two were still required to work together, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit alleges the harassment continued and Barone also began to micromanage her position and unfairly attacked her job performance. She filed complaints “several times” about the continued harassment, but was forced to leave her job in March 2015 and was “constructively discharged.”

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describes sexual harassment as comments and incidents sexual in nature that are frequent or so severe that it creates a hostile work environment that results in “an adverse employment decision,” i.e. a victim being fired or demoted.

The civil complaint lists eight counts related to sexual harassment and demands a trial by jury. The award in the suit asks for more than $75,000 in damages.

In response to a request for comment, a spokesman for Smith & Wesson told Guns.com that the company does not comment on pending legal matters. At time of publication, Smith & Wesson had not yet filed a motion in the case.

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