Reports have emerged of a female IBM sales executive in Australia who was allegedly victim to sexual harassment and bullying for two years.
Susan Spiteri claims a member of staff would “rub himself against my backside”, touch her, grope her, put his hand up her dress and ask her to expose her breasts to win sales.
In an interview with ABC, Spiteri says that the culture of fear in the office meant no one was prepared to intervene. She told ABC that, although colleagues were supportive of her ordeal, everyone was too scared to try to put a stop to it. Spiteri says she cried nearly ever day at her desk.
She’s looking for $1.1 million in compensation from IBM.
IBM has said that it will “vigorously defend” itself in court, and that it “does not tolerate harrassment of any type.” The alleged bully resigned from IBM when confronted with the allegations. But IBM then assigned him as a customer to Spiteri.
Spiteri’s lawyer says since the case went public, others who went through similar ordeals approached the law firm – and there are a couple more cases bubbling under the surface.