CAMERON PARK, Calif. (CN) – Three ex-employees of a health food store say their boss made them attend meetings where she presided naked in a bathtub, with her son looking on.
They say both mother and son, who also was their boss, subjected them to “daily sexual harassment” and “sexual batteries,” and that the son “brandished weapons” at them.
The three former employees sued Nana Patricia McPeak, her son Eric Weber, and Nanacea, a corporation that sells “natural and nutritional products.”
Plaintiffs Kari Skajem, Amy Heath and Kim Benedict claim in El Dorado County Court that the mother and son subjected them to “constant sexual harassment,” including “sexual batteries, sexual comments to and about female employees and their anatomies, and allowing a hostile work environment.”
According to the complaint, “Examples of the daily sexual harassment include:
“a. Nana Patricia McPeak insisted that plaintiffs meet with her while she bathed naked in the bathtub, and required them to stay while she discussed business with her son, defendant Eric Weber, who was also present in the bathroom while Nana Patricia McPeak bathed naked;
“b. Nana Patricia McPeak required plaintiffs [to] come into the bathroom, while she was naked in the bathtub, to take instructions for tasks and projects;
“c. Nana Patricia McPeak and Eric Weber referred to plaintiffs as ‘cunts’ and told them there is nothing they can do about it;
“d. Nana Patricia McPeak and Eric Weber frequently talked about plaintiffs’ bodies and weight, and referred to each plaintiff as ‘fat bitch’ or ‘fat cow …'”
The women say the harassment occurred “both during and outside work hours.”
“Examples of such conduct include:
“a. Nana Patricia McPeak fired plaintiffs on a frequent basis for the satisfaction of making them beg for their jobs back; …
“c. Nana Patricia McPeak lied about plaintiffs on a frequent basis and falsely accused them of criminal conduct;
“d. Eric Weber brandished weapons in front of plaintiffs and threatened to harm plaintiffs and/or plaintiffs’ friends;
“e. Nana Patricia McPeak and Eric Weber constantly threatened plaintiffs with physical or economic harm.”
The women say the mother and son did all this “for the sole purpose of causing plaintiffs severe emotional distress.”
Skajem says that “on multiple occasions, Eric Weber showed up at her home uninvited,” and that he “tried to force her to have an intimate relationship with him, which she always refused.” She says he also called her home and left “inappropriate messages for her children to hear.”
Benedict, who is white and dated a black man, says that McPeak and Weber harassed her for it “and called her ‘nigger lover’ on a daily basis.”
All three plaintiffs say they were fired for objecting to the pervasive harassment. They seek lost income and benefits, medical expenses, costs and punitive damages for sexual harassment, racial harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and retaliation.
They are represented by William Wright of Sacramento.
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