Ruth Piller: Big-Firm Attorney Says Colleagues Photoshopped Her Face onto Totally Inappropriate Pics

Categories: Courts

piller2.jpg
Attorney Ruth Piller alleges that e-mails like this led to a hostile work environment before she was fired from Hays, McConn, Rice & Pickering.
Photoshopped images of a female attorney's face on the body of a stripper, a naked woman partially covered in sushi, and a woman in knee-high boots and leopard-print bikini are among a bevy of e-mails at the heart of an Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint against the Houston law firm Hays, McConn, Rice & Pickering.

Here's the deal: Appellate attorney Ruth Piller says she was unceremoniously fired after eight years at the firm when she didn't bill as many hours because of a painful nerve disorder called trigeminal neuralgia. Her condition, according to her complaint, was exacerbated by Photoshopped images of her disseminated largely by fellow Hays McConn attorney Staton Childers.

Childers -- who is a grown-up, by the way -- also Photoshopped other female employees' faces on sexually suggestive pics, such as a mock inspirational poster of two big-breasted women holding beer bottles in the cleavage, with the tagline "BOOBS: Because that beer's not going to hold itself." (Another pic shows a guy at a row of men's-room urinals -- above the urinals are pics of women whipping out measuring tape and snapping photos, as if to get a closer look at the guy's junk. Piller's face, and what appear to be the faces of other females at Hays McConn, are superimposed onto those women's bodies. It's a knee-slapper.) But according to the complaint, Piller was the main target.

"I was one of several women attorneys targeted and abused by the management committee of Hays McConn," her complaint alleges. "Because I am a single mother with a developing, debilitating illness, I was an easy mark for the management committee partners' unlawful and inexcusable conduct. They knew I could be bullied and intimidated because I did not want to lose my job."

pillersushi.jpg
Another laff riot from Staton Childers.
Kerry Notestine, an outside attorney for Hays McConn, has denied Piller's allegations, saying she was a willing participant in the e-mails and never complained during the years the images were distributed.

Piller's "failure to complain while she was employed prevented the firm from stopping this conduct she now claims offended her," Notestine wrote in a letter to one of Piller's attorneys. Attached to his response were some e-mails in which Piller appeared to joke around with Childers and others in an exchange referring to "sexy time," which was allegedly Childers's term for "lunch." Notestine also attached an e-mailed image of Piller's face on the body of what appears to be a mid-1980s pic of Madonna, clad in lingerie and a belt buckle with the phrase "Boy Toy," and some necklaces that call attention to the cleavage. Piller writes in an e-mail, "I am very offended by this e-mail. I would like to file a grievance.....I would never wear that necklace."

Blah, blah, blah: What really tickles Hair Balls' funny bone is the fact that grown men at a law firm were e-mailing Photoshopped pictures of female colleagues in the first place. They also passed around cro-magnon palaver like this, titled "A Short Fairy Tale": "One day, long, long ago there lived a woman who did not whine, nag or bitch. But this was a long time ago...and it was just that one day. The End."

GET IT?! See, it's funny, because broads are big ol' nags! But they have boobs, and sometimes they're big!

And what really tickles Hair Balls's funny bone even more was how the named partners at Hays McConn responded -- or, rather, didn't -- to our questions about how they feel about their attorneys e-mailing stuff like this around.

But first, we called Childers, who asked to hold because he had another call. After it became clear he wasn't going to come back on the line, we called back, and -- surprise -- his receptionist told us he was out of the office. Well-played, Childers -- well-played. (We eventually got ahold of him, but he had no comment.)

Michael Hays, chairman of the board of directors of the South Texas College of Law (where he's also a guest lecturer on ethics), told us, "We did engage an outside firm who came in, interviewed a number of the female attorneys in the office and came to the conclusion there was no hostile work environment at our firm."

So we asked McConn why he thought Piller was making a big deal about her face slapped on scantily clad women's bodies -- obviously, such images had to be all in good fun.


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54 comments
Jeff Woodruff
Jeff Woodruff

Piller's going to hit the jack pot on this one.  

hugandkiss
hugandkiss

I’ve been in my job for 8 months. Our office consists of 7 employees, only one other female, all who have been here 15+ years. It was intimidating coming in as the new girl to such a tight clique, plus I am the youngest by 10 years. It started my first week on the job with inappropriate jokes in front of me between them. Not wanting to be seen as the "can't take a joke" new girl, yes I laughed. And I shouldn’t have. Now I don't laugh but roll my eyes and say things like, "y’all are so mean", and "I can’t believe I have to work with you people" in a sarcastic serious way that usually makes them laugh more. I like my job and can see having to put up with this for a very long time. I can see where Ruth might have just wanted to fit in. Yes we are adults but wanting to fit in with the people you interact with every day is not only reserved for the cliques in high school. But still, if she didn’t want to report it she should have distanced herself from it. Now she looks completely stupid. I'm satisfied with knowing that I do not encourage or contribute to their dumb behavior, and not one of them can come back and say that I have. I doubt I will ever complain or report my situation though because I avoid confrontation like the plague and I make a lot of money.

Guest
Guest

This is a ridiculous--ruin a man's reputation by something you decided you were offended by after you were let go 8 years later. Umm...if you were offended...why didn't you just walk in his office and let him know? 

Clearly someone does not want to work and thought they found a meal ticket. I think lawyers who accept these baseless lawsuits should be sued. And with real sexual harassment going on in some work places...things like this make it harder for real victims. UNBELIEVABLE what this world is coming to. 

And this woman thought it was funny.

Wonk!
Wonk!

So, we've established that Guest, Been There and Ambitious One are all employees or ex-employees of Hays, McConn, and they all are last word freaks.  Further, One of them is gunning for partner by fellating people in the comments section of a news article.

AmbitiousOne
AmbitiousOne

Ruth is too scared to make the effort to stand on her own two feet.  Instead of acting, she reacts.  She is a victim, not a victor.  Check her history, always a “contributor” of the articles she claims in her bio and in her representation of legal matters, she was always supported by other attorneys.  Even as a Partner, she couldn’t manage a case solo.  Due to her inadequacies, which have nothing to do with her illness, someone always had to have her back, prop her up and shove (not just push) her through every lawsuit.  She is yet another lazy mumser (i.e., a “loser”) sucking off the system, looking for someone else to support her laziness.  She wouldn’t make the effort to support her husband so he got rid of her.  Now her children will become the next generation of losers because that is what she is teaching them.  She wants to be a writer, but is not good enough to make a living at it so Hays, McConn now becomes her next financial lottery ticket, enabling her to lay her fat unkept ass in bed, writing more of her crap no one wants to read.  With the typos in this article, the Houston Press seems the appropriate next employer for her. As for Staton Childers, he is a great man, a great attorney and a great mentor.  A man with a heart of gold who has no tolerance for laziness.  Hays, McConn is a high profile law firm, which handles a heavy case load.  Anyone who works in a high stress environment such as this knows you have to have an outlet to keep your sanity.  Most who work in such an environment vent stress through some form of immature activity whether it be drinking, partying, gossip or tossing about adult humor.   As for “Been There’s” comment regarding Staton Childers, “The only reason he does this charity crap is to suck up to his rich wife's family,” you couldn’t be more wrong.  Staton was a recipient of a HLSR scholarship, which helped him through college.  He worked hard to get where he is.  As a scholarship recipient, he was required to volunteer for 5 years at HLSR.  He has gone far beyond that and continues to volunteer, not on one committee, but two.  What is your contribution to society?  Staton Childers loves his wife and sons and strives to make a good living for them; he works hard to accomplish his goals.  Those who feel he is a jerk, look in the mirror.  You were the employees who were slackers just waiting for your next paycheck.  You were not team players.  Those who worked hard never had a problem with Staton Childers.  Staton Childers stands for what he believes and laziness is not something he condones, nor should he. Ruth, you were a main player in this photoshopping stress relief, you contributed in stoking the fire and keeping it going and you should be grateful that someone had the talent to bring you to a level above frumpiness.  Get out of bed, get moving and be a respectable role model for your children.  For once, take the high road; you will feel better for it.  Take some pride in yourself, put on some makeup, brush your unkept hair and have some fun in life.  It’s a small goal you can set for yourself.  Put a little effort into it and you will see it IS achievable.

JMG
JMG

It is a shame that the firm wouldn't comment, but totally understandable under the circumstances.  I am sure there is more than just one side to this story and it will eventually come out.  While it is easy to say that these photoshopped pictures should never have happened, no one I know is above the board on having sent inappropriate emails or made inappropriate comments.  If Ms. Piller was so offended by the emails, then why did she participate in them and make jokes about them (eg, I would never wear this necklace)?  And, I wonder why, if she was so embarassed by these photos, she decided to publish them on the internet via this news story.  Surely a description of the photos would have sufficed.  We should ask Ms. Piller that question since she used to work for the Chronicle.  Also, isn't it curious that Ms. Piller worked for the firm for so long without complaining until she got fired?  8 years or so- and didn't even look for employment elsewhere?  Or maybe she did and was unemployable elsewhere.  If so, maybe that's why she filed this suit- because she couldn't get a job and needed some way to make a living.  Yes- I'm skeptical of Ms. Piller's claims.  And I don't think anyone should be condemning Mr. Staton until the full story comes out.  For Ms. Piller's sake, I hope she really does have a claim, because if she doesn't, then she just unnecessarily ruined not only her career, but also Mr. Staton's career simply by making these allegations.   

Ex-employee
Ex-employee

I worked at this firm and loved it until I was fired (or rather asked to find another job without telling the management committee so the attorney I worked for could save face for his screw-up) and I can tell you for sure it is a Good Old Boy firm and we are just mere women.  Screw Hays McConn and Staton.

Jon
Jon

Staton Childers is a good man and this article paints an unfair picture of who he really is.  I don't know Ms. Piller and I'm sorry that she has a health condition.  While I agree that photoshopping is tacky and not something that I would do (or ever have done), I strongly disagree with the implications in this article about who Mr. Childers is as a person.  A more accurate reflection of Mr. Childers' character can be found in an article authored by Ms. Piller, which can be found at http://www.thehoustonlawyer.co....

This article states:

Staton M. Childers, a shareholder at Hays, McConn, Rice and Pickering, is known among his colleagues for his quick wit and his sarcasm. Only in the courtroom and when discussing his pet cause— Bo’s Place—does his serious side emerge.

Described on its Web site as “Houston’s oldest and only ongoing, free-of-charge grief support center for children,” Bo’s Place (www.bosplace.org) provides grief support for children dealing with the death of a parent or sibling. The programs offered by Bo’s Place include family grief support groups, community education and training services and a grief support information and referral line.

“They help kids deal with something that at some level is incomprehensible to them,” Staton said.

Staton is in his second year of service as a member of the Bo’s Place board of directors. The board, he says, is a working board, rather than an honorary board; that is, the board of directors meets monthly, oversees operations and is active in the facility’s fundraising and long-term planning.

Staton said he became involved with Bo’s Place when he was training for his first marathon, the 2006 Houston Marathon. When he learned that runners could designate a charity for which to run, Staton thought of Bo’s Place, an organization for which his in-laws had helped raise funds. After his successful fundraising effort, Childers was asked to join the board.

Since joining the board, Staton has headed the Bo’s Place team in the Houston Marathon. In the 2008 marathon, the Bo’s Place team comprised 37 runners and raised $26,000. Staton also participates in other Bo’s Place fundraising efforts, such as its annual Hearts of Hope Luncheon.

A diehard Aggie, Staton also is a member of two Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo committees. He and his wife have two young sons; Staton is coach of his older son’s little league team.

Ruth Piller and David V. Wilson practice with Hays, McConn, Rice & Pickering, P.C. Wilson is editor in chief of The Houston Laywer and Piller is a former editor in chief.

Wyatt
Wyatt

 Guys, if you're going to be harassing women, do you think you could at least be funny? That's not even Dad Humor. It's not that good. Are you happy with yourselves?

BIGOMAHA
BIGOMAHA

 I'm not saying what they did is right but if she didn't object to it right off the bat then she shares some responsibility.  We had a situation at work where we would share "inappropriate" jokes and colorful language with a new female hire (I work in very male dominated business).  She laughed and gave as good as she got with not a hint of disapproval and we soon began to think of her as "one of the guys" yet a year later when she was being let go she threatened to sue the company for harassment.  If she had ever said she was the least little bit uncomfortable we would have stopped immediately.  I'm not saying that is what happened here, but ladies, don't be afraid to talk to the person about it.  In our case we knew that not everybody in the office shared our sense of humor and the last thing we would want to do is make someone uncomfortable.

Been there...
Been there...

Ambitious one is quite ambitious.  He/she will get lots of brownie points for that post...

Picasso
Picasso

I don't know any of those people, just read the story and the posts.One question I have , understanding mr children's deep ethics, is why, if she's so inefficient, was she allowed to remain 8 years at the law firm?Things don't seem to add up...

Eye roll
Eye roll

If Ms. Piller is as terrible a lawyer as you describe, it doesn't say much for the partners at the firm that voted her into the partnership.  By the way, your obvious bias against Ms. Piller and in favor of Mr. Childers, makes you totally lacking in credibility. You must not be a litigation attorney, or at least a good one, because your persuasive skills are lacking.

Guest
Guest

A "mumser?" Is that a term of art for single working mother commonly used at Hays, McConn? If so, please keep posting. You are the best witness Ms. Piller could ask for in establishing an environment hostile to single, working mothers. I think the other word you were looking for is "unkempt." Unless you were referring to a single working mother fired by a "mumser"-hostile law firm, then you were right and the proper term would be "unkept."

Been there...
Been there...

That is the most hilarious thing I have ever read.  Keep sucking up to Staton and I'm sure you'll go places...after all, he's a powerful one.  You're so right...Staton is a loving and dedicated husband.  He also loves to pass around porn at work as well...  I wonder if his wife knows about all that...  Such a GREAT man.  I'm sure he sometimes does good things, but he is NOT a good person.  He has taken shots at people to try to ruin their careers only because they weren't "good ol' boys' just like him.  Open your eyes...you'll eventually see the true Staton. 

Guest
Guest

AmbitiousOne....well said and all true.

Been there...
Been there...

I'm sure she participated so she wouldn't be told she's "too sensitive" or "can't take a joke" and then be kicked out of the "cool attorney clique".  She also didn't publish this story, Houston Press did.  I'd also like to point out that if Staton was concerned about his career, he should have cared enough not to photoshop pictures of colleagues' faces onto sexually explicit photos and then email them around like an immature child.  He can take responsibility for that, don't put that off on someone else.  Does his actions really sound like something a shareholder of a law firm would do?  Is this the correct example to send out to associates of the firm for which you are a partner?  Seriously...

Kristie
Kristie

Old boy firm is an understatement. I used to work there too. If anyone has any question about whether Hays Mcconn is a hostile work environment then maybe they should ask around about the Mexico firm trip staton coordinated. Talk about class act, rumor has it the males took photos of females and emailed them for all of their friends. I don't know if what happened to Ruth is true but I sure do know that they use women for stepping stones over there

Scrub3119
Scrub3119

Seriously. Mr. Childers is not Bo's Place and Bo's Place is not Mr. Childers. If ever there was a poster child for "irrelevant" your posting would be front and center. Were you hired by the law firm for damage control, albeit a laughable attempt?  Next thing you will be telling us is that the recent rains in Houston are attributable to Mr. Childers because he lives in Houston.  People should not rush to judgment but it is hard to think these photos were acceptable under any circumstances.  Perhaps someone stole Mr. Childers's email password and sent out the photos under his name? 

Been there...
Been there...

Staton has always been a jerk.  The only reason he does this charity crap is to suck up to his rich wife's family.  He has always made fun of everyone and should definitely be reprimanded FINALLY.  Anyone who TRULY knows him, knows he's an asshole.

LazyMF
LazyMF

Your use of the term "ladies" made me take your post seriously.  

tee-wee
tee-wee

All due respect, but if you call the jokes "inappropriate", then you already know you're wrong. If you work in law and you don't know this is wrong, well, that doesn't pass the smell test. If you really think that what they did was okay, I doubt you will be convinced by anything anyone tells you. Rest assured, however, that you're wrong.

Guest
Guest

Maybe. Mumser is a derogatory Yiddish term. Ms. Piller is Jewish. Ambitious One has just added hate speech to the hostile environment. Hays, McConn must be so proud.

JMG also been there
JMG also been there

And how do you think the Houston Press got the photos?  Did they break into her email and retrieve them?  You're also forgetting that Ms. Piller used to be a reporter and knows how to use the press in her favor.  Further, she knows that no one is going to comment on the other side (because that's the smart thing to do) so she'll have more time to sell her story in the media and get people to blindly support her.  More importantly, you're condemning without knowing both sides of the story.  I believe I explicitly said that the photoshopping should not have occurred.  I am a female attorney in the securities industry which is all male- so trust me- I do not have a blame the victim attitude.  If I had been her, I would have (and have) raised my hand and told the relevant people it was inappropriate.  However, I also think there is more to this story than meets the eye. People are quick to judge without all of the facts. It is like everyone just wants there to be an absolute bad guy and that is not always the case.  I was just pointing out issues that I have with this situation and reasons why I think everyone should withhold judgment.  She should have been able to raise her hand and say "no thanks" at some point over the course of the 8 years she worked there, rather than replying to the emails and continuing the "joke".   I find it odd that the only time she can muster the strength to say something is when she is in a situation where she finds herself out of work and without money.  It's all a little convenient. 

Guest
Guest

If she was worried about being in the "cool attorney clique" at her age then it sounds like she needs to get her priorities in order.  Not very mature of her, either.  She is a "big firm attorney" so surely she knew how to reach out to somebody prior to her alleged "firing" to do something about her alleged hostile work environment.  She was also a shareholder at the firm.  And Houston Press may have published it, but how exactly did they get this information?  It's not public knowledge and I bet Hays McConn didn't send the photos to them.  She was a reporter for the Chronicle before her law career, so I'm sure she has friends at the Houston Press who would spin things her way.  There are two sides to every story.  Anybody who reads this and doesn't take the time to consider not all the facts are in this article is naive.  She is ruthlessly and selfishly taking advantage of Mr. Childer's poor choices because she needs money. I can assure you she is no victim.   

Kristie - Really
Kristie - Really

Because I am the only "Kristie" that ever worked at Hays McConn , I do not appreciate the above commenter using my name. The comments and opinions are not mine and the person using my name is a coward and needs to stop.

I will not make any further comments on here so if my name is used it is not me.

PLEASE STOP or I will use all means to discover who you are.

You are messing with people's lives and it is reprehensible.

As for this article, only the people involved know all the facts. Everyone else is only speculating. It is disgusting to me that this is in the media.

BIGOMAHA
BIGOMAHA

 What is wrong with using the term "ladies"?

BIGOMAHA
BIGOMAHA

So you think it's "appropriate" for someone to suddenly object to behavior they have themselves been engaging in for over a year?   Also, what I find inappropriate and what you find inappropriate can be vastly different.  And I never said I agreed with what they did.  The npoint I was trying to make was to speak up when it happens or people will take your silence for approval. 

SBM
SBM

"Hello- we're talking about someone who is a lawyer.  We're not talking about someone who doesn't know her rights."

You are forgetting that Childers is also a lawyer, yet he evidently didn't know right from wrong.

Guest
Guest

Been there......I meant "impartial".  Long day.  We both know there is more to this story than what is in this very clearly slanted article. Let's just agree to disagree.

Been there...
Been there...

I know what I know about this situation and it's more than you know. She may nit have been doing her job up to their standards, but they have let many others float by doing sub par work for many years. Whatever. Hopefully justice will be served. No matter what happens with this EEOC claim, at least it brought to light what kind of person Childers is. I'm happy with that.

Kmw65
Kmw65

Been there....did you ever stop to think that maybe Ms. Piller wasn't doing her job correctly and got fired because of that and is now trying to claim she is a victim?  Probably not because you have a personal ax to grind with Staton and probably every other man that you believe wronged you...that much is clear. I'm sorry if you were hurt by men because no woman should be, but it is making you less than partial in this situation.    She saved those photos for God knows how long to use in case she ever felt like she needed them and only after she found herself out of a job did she decide to do something about them.  This isn't about her finally being courageous...this is about her having nothing else to lose and trying to get all she can by now claiming she is a victim.  JMG is right...it's insulting to people who actually have been harrassed and abused...if you are one of them, I am sorry.

Been there...
Been there...

I'm just saying that sometimes it takes a while for things like that to get to the point where you take a stand. She's alleging his harassment aggravated her disorder or whatever. Then they fired her because she didn't bill as many hours as she should have. I know for a fact they allowed certain shareholders to continue working hardly billing at all and waited on them to quit. Of course, they were males.

jmg
jmg

Seriously?  Are you joking with the spousal abuse comment?  There are so many flaws in what you are trying to sell it is hard to keep up with all of them.  This is going from a lively debate about the veracity of the charges to sheer fantasy and ridiculous analogies.  First, she is claiming she got fired.  So, your analogy to the spouse who is abused and then finally gets the courage to leave her abuser is not applicable, because she didn't leave (according to her).  Frankly, it is insulting to those in a situation of spousal abuse that you would compare the two situations.  Second, we are talking about photoshopping.  We're not talking about physical or emotional abuse.  I repeat, we're just talking about photos- I promise you that if there were allegations of anything worse, it would have been in this article and in the complaint- both of which Ruthie helped craft as we learned from our fellow poster above on the EEOC info (thanks guy/girl for the helpful info).  So, I say right back to you "C'mon, you aren't stupid"..... 

Been there...
Been there...

At first you let it go not realizing it will last your entire life at the firm, then you realize no, Staton is an ass and isn't going to stop. You reach a point where you can't take it anymore. C'mon, you aren't stupid. It's just like spousal abuse. It's hard to leave. You keep hoping it will stop.

jmg
jmg

First, I never defended the photos.  I repeatedly said they should not have happened.  However, if you want a situation in which the photo does not amount to harassment then I will give you one:  when the person replies and makes fun of the photo too, or forwards it to others for a laugh.....and never says she is offended by it.   Also, re-read your posts- you're the one who said it went on for 8 years.  "Just because someone puts up with something/someone for 8 years does not mean they aren't offended." 

Been there...
Been there...

Harassment doesn't always begin the day you start working somewhere. It develops over time. No matter what, his behavior is inexcusable. Give me one instance where photoshopping your coworker's face onto sexual photos is acceptable. Just one.

jmg
jmg

And it only took her 8 years and a chance to get a big settlement.  It is debatable whether she was motivated by courage alone.

Been there...
Been there...

Good for her then. She finally was courageous enough to take a stand and show the public the true Staton Childers. Someone needed to.

FYI
FYI

In fact you cannot look up EEOC claims as you can with lawsuits filed.  EEOC remains bound by the privacy provisions of the federal statutes it enforces, unless a lawsuit is filed either by the EEOC or the charging party.  If a lawsuit is filed, both the Charging Party and the Respondent will have access to the investigative file.  The lawsuit becomes a part of the public record.  Moreover, if the charge is dismissed after the investigation is completed, the Charging Party may seek access to the investigative file for 90 days, prior to the expiration of the right to sue notice. Access to EEOC claims is reserved for the charging party, respondent, and their attorneys and they are not bound by FOIA.  Lawsuits are public record and upon review of the Harris County website I cannot locate any such suit that was filed by Ms. Piller against Hays McConn. Given that Hays McConn would not have brought Ms. Piller’s EEOC claim to the attention of Houston Press I think it is safe to assume Ms. Piller in her infinite wisdom and concern for her nerve disorder did. 

Been there...
Been there...

I would consider it a hostile work environment but you are correct that this is about deciding whether she was wrongly terminated.

Been there...
Been there...

Well I sure can't wait to hear a justifiable reason for photoshopping those photos...I'm sure there HAS to be some valid reason it's acceptable.

Guest
Guest

I am not defending Staton and whatever the firm or his clients choose to do with this information will probably be justified, although he is not the monster you make him out to be.  This isn't about whether what he did was right or wrong.  This is about whether or not there really was a hostile work environment and whether she was wrongly fired.  I believe if all the facts ever come out it will show her claim is frivilous.  It's easy to look at those photos and say she was harrassed, but the photos don't tell the whole story.   My guess is that HMRP will not drag her name through the mud, though, like she is doing to them. 

JMG
JMG

A law firm is not a baseball team and it does not function like one.  As I've said before, there are two sides to every story and you've heard one side.  You obviously have some personal vendetta here and want to see Staton punished, but this isn't your story.  It's Ruth's and we haven't heard Staton's side. 

JMG
JMG

Then get a new job.  It's simple.  Problem solved.  Even if you think that your grievance won't be taken seriously, you still have to go through the motions of complaining.  And how would she know- she never complained!  Also, tough sh*t if you're the bad guy. That's as weak as the "cool clique" argument.  You still stick up for what is right if you believe you are being harassed.  Hello- we're talking about someone who is a lawyer.  We're not talking about someone who doesn't know her rights.  You don't get to sit back for 8 year and participate in it and then cry harassment.  Also, I believe EEOC complaints are not public. 

Been there...
Been there...

So you think Staton should just not have anything happen to him?  You think the firm shouldn't be held accountable for this?  Yes, there are some (I wouldn't say lots) of good attorneys there at the firm, and I'm sure they will be just fine.  They should be upset with the management committee for allowing this to be going on knowing it could potentially damage the firm's reputation.  There are some good players on the Astros, but that doesn't mean they have to win every game...if a player is on a losing team, they are going to lose...

Been there...
Been there...

Just because someone puts up with something/someone for 8 years does not mean they aren't offended.  That place is not a place where you can state your grievance and things will be taken care of by the book.  If you have a complaint, you are made out to be the bad guy.  I know this first hand.  So, all of a sudden, you turn around and it's been 8 years.  You've just kind of been going along with everything so you "fit in" since you needed a job and are too busy being a parent and working on your cases to take the time to find another job.  What Staton did is harrassment - without a doubt. 

Guest
Guest

So then do you believe she should collect a lot of money and tarnish the rest of the firm's reputation just because you think Staton is an a-hole? She still has to prove her claim and not just flash some shocking photos on the internet.  There are a lot of good attorneys and decent people at that firm and what she is doing is cowardly and selfish.  Staton may not be everyone's favorite person, but her claims are frivilous.

JMG
JMG

You obviously have a personal connection to this story and maybe that is skewing your perception of what I am trying to say.  So, do you think that the photos were also public and Ruthie (as you called her) had nothing to do with this story?  No one made any excuses for the photos- again, I said they should not have happened.  But you also can't say Ruth was in a hostile work environment if the photos did not bother her.  And her participation in it and failure to say anything for 8 YEARS leads me to believe that she was not bothered by the attention.  I'm sorry.  You cannot tell me "Ruthie" is an innocent person in all of this and that she never did anything to encourage or participate in this.  And there's nothing wrong with that - except that you don't get to participate in it and then ruin someone's career by claiming harassment. Thank god sainthood is not required to defend an harassment claim.

Been there...
Been there...

No doubt Ruth isn't perfect, but a married man and dedicated father should NOT be photoshopping coworkers' faces onto inappropriate images and sending them around to snicker with his cohorts.  Just like you can do a search to see what cases are filed each day, I'm sure Houston Press can do searches to see what EEOC claims are filed and are juicy enough for a story.  C'mon, you KNOW what he did wasn't right!  Stop making excuses for that ass.  I can also assure you that Staton is no saint and should be called out and reprimanded for this behavior.  No matter what Ruthie may have done to Staton, 2 wrongs don't make a right.  We learned that in pre-school...  I've seen Staton in action...this isn't something that just happened once. 

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