Three former employees of Archie Comics have filed suit in a federal court in New York alleging sexual discrimination. The lawsuit claims that the company, which is responsible for the iconic Archie Andrews and his love interests Betty and Veronica, is dominated by men and that the plaintiffs were mistreated because they worked for the company's female co-CEO.
The women allege that they were forced to perform demeaning tasks not required of other employees, such as signing in when arriving and signing out when leaving the office. They claim they were ostracized and required to repeat the words of male executives to their female boss and repeat her words to the male executives, as might a translator or go-between, despite the fact that all parties spoke the same language and were standing next to one another in the same room.
An earlier sexual discrimination lawsuit involving the company, this one filed by some of the male executives against the female co-CEO, was dismissed in July 2014. The judge presiding over the case determined that the allegations were not sufficient to state a hostile work environment claim. Among those allegations were the excessive use by the female co-CEO of offensive language. Her attorney argued that the white male plaintiffs were not part of a protected category.
The male executives are appealing the dismissal of their case, which sought damages in the amount of $32 million. The female co-CEO called the lawsuit against her frivolous. She described Archie Comics as a family business and said that families sometimes have issues. An employment law attorney may be able to help those who believe they have been discriminated against by explaining the legal process or assisting in the preparation of a claim. Civil awards may include compensation for lost wages or punitive damages, but it may be necessary to pursue administrative remedies prior to filing a lawsuit.
Source: Daily News, "Archie comics hit with gender discrimination suit", Dareh Gregorian, August 24, 2014