Man Says He Got Harassed for Posing as Playgirl Lumberjack
HARTFORD (CN) - A man who posed for Playgirl as a naked lumberjack 18 years ago sued his recent employer, claiming it didn't stop co-workers from harassing him about it, shouting "Timber!" when they saw him.
Daniel Sawka sued ADP Inc., in Federal Court.
Sawka clams ADP hired him in 2009 as a district sales manager.
Eighteen years before it hired him, "plaintiff had posed nude for Playgirl magazine. The photographs had a lumberjack theme," Sawka says in the complaint.
His co-workers found the photos on the Internet the month after he started. He claims they did it on an ADP computer, and on company time.
"Following the discovery of the nude pictures, employees in the office engaged in a pattern and practice of jokes, sexually charged comments and ridicule concerning the plaintiff and the pictures," according to the complaint.
"Plaintiff repeatedly asked employees to stop with the harassment, jokes and ridicule, but the behavior continued.
"During weekly and monthly roll call meets, jokes and comments of a sexual nature were made and directed at the plaintiff.
"Jokes and comments were made by the defendant's employees including but not limited to comments about plaintiff's body parts, including his genitals, and a comment about what homosexual men viewing the photos and what they would be doing while viewing the photos.
"Defendants' employees would say 'timber' or 'lumberjack' in reference to the plaintiff and the plaintiff's photos."
The harassment continued even at awards meetings, he says.
"In August 2010, plaintiff's team won a trip to Yankee Stadium in defendant's luxury box. Plaintiff went on the trip and while at the stadium a sales associate from defendant's Stamford, Connecticut office loudly asked the plaintiff in front of other many other employees about being in Playgirl Magazine."
The month before that trip, Sawka claims, he "told the employees in the Milford office who were joking about the pictures to stop 'googling' him and to 'leave me alone.'"
But they wouldn't
"Defendant's employees continued to 'Google' plaintiff's name during work hours, on work computers and downloaded and/or viewed the Playgirl photos," he says in the complaint.
Sawka claims he was "constructively discharged" in March 2011.
He seeks back pay, front pay, bonuses, personal days, lost pension and retirement benefits, costs, and damages and punitive damages for emotional distress.
He is represented by James Sabatini of Newington.