Labor & Employment

Sext Discrimination? Ex-Staffer Claims Associate Sent Her Inappropriate Image


Updated: 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 one of its partners.

Meanwhile, the legal publication reported the partner 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 reportedly insisted 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, the publication reports. It linked to a video of two men, and the associate apologized to Franklin.

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

From the start, the firm maintained that claims that the image was of a partner, along with other allegations in the complaint, were inaccurate. And the suit was later dismissed, with the plaintiff acknowledging that the image came from the Internet, was not of the partner or any other person at the firm, and was not intended for her.

Last updated Oct. 8, 2014, to note that the suit was dismissed and that the plaintiff acknowledged the misdirected image was not of a partner at the firm.

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