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Labor & Employment

Sext Discrimination? Ex-Staffer Claims Associate Sent Her Junk Email Revealing Partner’s Privates

Posted Apr 11, 2011 10:36 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Sued by two former female employees for alleged gender-based employment discrimination and federal civil rights violations, a Dallas law firm is apparently arguing with at least one over whether an associate's email to the woman did or did not link to a photo of a partner's penis.

Plaintiff Katherine Franklin says in a February amended complaint filed by solo practitioner Frank P. Hernandez that it did, reports Texas Lawyer in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

However, Simon Eddins & Greenstone says in a March answer in the Northern District of Texas case that Franklin knew the images linked to the email were not of the partner, David Greenstone.

Meanwhile, Greenstone tells the legal publication he changed the screensaver on an associate's cellphone in November 2009 to an "inappropriate" image he pulled off the Internet as a joke. But he insists that no one saw this image except himself and the associate.

The associate, trying to keep the prank going, tried to send a similar email to another lawyer at the firm but accidentally sent it to Franklin, according to Greenstone. It linked to a video of two men, and the associate apologized to Franklin, says Greenstone, explaining that the joke "was never intended to be harmful or harassing."

The associate didn't respond to phone messages from Texas Lawyer.

Although the firm contends that the allegation about the image of Greenstone, among other assertions in the complaint, is inaccurate, Hernandez isn't yet giving up on this claim. Asked by Texas Lawyer whether the associate's email linked to an image of Greenstone, Hernandez responded "I don't know if it was or not, because I've never seen his penis."

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