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September 26, 1997


Women win $1.1 million judgment against Ameritech for sexual harassment


Associated Press Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Ameritech Indiana will appeal a nearly $1.1 million judgment awarded to three female employees after a federal jury decided the company was liable for sexual harassment and subjected the women to repeated harassment by a male co-worker.

Ameritech spokeswoman Lee Ann Hoy said the company would file its appeal within the next 60 days and insisted Ameritech did nothing wrong in handling the allegations against Gary Amos that began in 1975.

On Thursday, a federal jury awarded $1,065,000 to Lori Everts, Wendy Pollard and Debbie Wentland. The three will split the judgment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit on behalf of the three women after complaints were repeatedly filed against Amos alleging that he harassed 18 female co-workers over a 19-year period.

He was fired in March 1994 after masturbating in his work cubicle in front of Pollard.

``I’m very proud of what I did because that stopped them from letting it continue,″ Pollard said. ``I think it will help other women knowing that justice can be served and it will give them more courage in standing up for what is right.″

The harassment included several incidents of exposure and inappropriate physical contact, the lawsuit said, but many of the complaints against Amos could not be substantiated, Hoy said.

EEOC lawyers said the judgment was the largest awarded in any sexual harassment case the agency has filed.