A Sept. 29, 2008, trial date has been scheduled in U. S. District Court for former page inserter Kathleen Willis' sexual harassment lawsuit against the Joplin Globe and its owner Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
According to a scheduling order filed today, a pre-trial hearing will be held Aug. 28. The deadline for pre-trial discovery is set for Jan. 31.
In her petition, filed Jan. 23, Kathleen Willis claimed the Globe created a "hostile work environment" by "allowing its employees and agents to make unwanted sexual advances and contact with (Ms. Willis) and fellow female employees."
Ms. Willis says that after she complained to supervisors about the sexual harassment her employment schedule was changed and after she filed a complaint she "was threatened with the loss of her job." Ms. Willis says no action was ever taken against any of the people who were doing the harassment.
Ms. Willis said one of her fellow employees touched her and other female employees on the "breasts, waist, and rear" but even after complaints "nothing was ever done." She said that after he complaints, her supervisor told her "Someone is going to get fired and it might be you."
The three-count petition charged the Globe with creating a hostile work environment, sex discrimination, and retaliation. Ms. Willis is asking for actual damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees.
In court filings, Globe officials denied Ms. Willis' claims.