February 18, 2005

Interesting job description

Hat tip to BoingBoing for this story and link. From the SFGate website: bq. Gorilla Foundation rocked by breast display lawsuit Former employees say they were told to expose chests bq. Two former employees of the Gorilla Foundation, home to Koko the "talking" ape, have filed a lawsuit contending that they were ordered to bond with the 33-year-old female simian by displaying their breasts. bq. Nancy Alperin and Kendra Keller, both of San Francisco, are taking on the Woodside nonprofit and its president, Francine "Penny" Patterson. bq. Their lawsuit, filed Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court, alleges sexual discrimination, wrongful termination in retaliation for reporting health and safety violations, and failure to pay overtime or provide rest breaks. bq. It seeks more than $1 million total in damages for the two women. Get a frickin' grip here -- you could have walked off the job when asked to do this, you didn't have to comply and then try to milk this organization for a cool Million... A sample of their claims (Patterson is the Foundation president): bq. One example: "On at least two incidents in mid-to-late June 2004, Patterson intensely pressured Keller to expose herself to Koko while they were working outside where other employees could potentially view Keller's naked body. ... On one such occasion, Patterson said, 'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra can show you her nipples.' " And a bit of history of Koko and the Foundation: bq. The foundation, which has existed since 1976 to promote the preservation and protection of gorillas, is best known for Koko, who was born at the San Francisco Zoo on July 4, 1971, and began working with Patterson the following year. bq. Koko -- older sister of Kubi, who presided over the zoo's Gorilla World exhibit until he died last year -- now has a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words in American Sign Language, according to foundation claims that are much debated among scientists. bq. The subject of books, videos and documentary films, the hairy linguist participated in what was called the first interspecies chat on the Internet in 1998, attracting more than 8,000 AOL users. And the work history of the two women bringing suit: bq. Three-month employee Alperin, 47, has returned to social work and is seeking $719,830 in damages. Four-month employee Keller, 48, a longtime sign language interpreter, is asking for $366,192. And: bq. The two women were fired Aug. 6. Three and four months employment history and you feel justified bringing a lawsuit? You didn't even quit, you were canned. I hope this gets dropped in court -- having to expose yourself might not be on a normal job description but this was not a "normal" job by any means. They both refused and should have quit then and there, not staying on until they were fired.
Posted by DaveH at February 18, 2005 1:14 PM
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