(WOMENSENEWS)–Many female employees at the U.S. Mint in Denver claim they have endured unfair treatment in promotions and raises, sexual harassment, sexual propositions, smut on walls and lockers and offensive sexual e-mails, reported the Rocky Mountain News.
Thirty-two women, nearly a third of the 107 female employees working at the Denver Mint, filed a class complaint with the U.S. Treasury Department last month. The complaint does not seek punitive damages. The women are seeking a court order for the Mint to stop the discrimination and to change their complaint handling practices, said Lynn Feiger, the group’s attorney.
The formal complaint comes after years of the women petitioning to higher authorities within the U.S. Mint and seeing little progress from Mint officials in ending the alleged discrimination and harassment.
Attorney Marisa Williams, a lawyer representing several of the women, said many women at the Mint are afraid to complain. "They make life hell for them if they do," she says. Williams added that the federal government is supposed to be a model employer and should not have tolerated the discrimination for years.
"I don’t know enough to talk about it," Kenneth Boris Sr., industrial manager at the Denver Mint, told the Denver newspaper.
Beverly Mandigo Milne, chief of administrative services at the Denver Mint, said that female supervisors are "bypassed" by male employees who favor male supervisors and many times, women aren’t allowed to attend certain meetings.
Phyllis Soto, accounting technician at the Mint, said that women who have traditional "men’s jobs" at the Mint, such as machinist or electrician, are treated so poorly by male co-workers that many quit.
"They break you down. The women say it’s not worth going home feeling that way every day," said Soto. "And management says, ‘She couldn’t handle the job. It’s her–see, she couldn’t do the job.’"
— Samantha Xu.