A former chief advertising officer at Alexandria, Virginia-based United Way Worldwide plans to file a $12 million lawsuit in opposition to the charity on Wednesday. The girl says she was retaliated in opposition to, and finally fired, after reporting sexual harassment to administration inside the group.

A former chief advertising officer at Alexandria, Virginia-based United Way Worldwide plans to file a $12 million lawsuit in opposition to the charity on Wednesday.

Lisa Bowman says she was retaliated in opposition to, and finally fired, after reporting sexual harassment to administration inside the group, which calls itself “America’s favorite charity.”

WTOP has realized from sources accustomed to the approaching go well with that attorneys for Bowman will declare, within the Circuit Court of Alexandria, that Bowman was harassed, subjected to a hostile work atmosphere due to her gender, and later retaliated in opposition to for complaining concerning the illegal conduct, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

From November 2015 to February 2020, Bowman was employed by United Way as govt vp and chief advertising and communications officer, reporting on to the charity’s president and chief govt officer, Brian Gallagher.

In late 2020, roughly three years after the #MeToo motion gained prominence, Bowman and two different feminine executives told their stories to HuffPo — beforehand the Huffington Post — saying management ignored their studies of harassment, and that every filed a declare with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal company that investigates civil rights claims in workplaces.

In the soon-to-be-filed go well with within the Circuit Court of Alexandria, Bowman’s attorneys Maureen Carr and Allison Riddle are anticipated to element Bowman’s interactions with a male colleague, who she instructed human sources repeatedly leered at her and made inappropriate feedback about her look.

Bowman mentioned her interactions with the male colleague started in October 2017, when Gallagher requested her to interview the person for a brand new function.

Bowman has mentioned when the colleague arrived, he stood very near her, inside what she thought of her private house. She remembers the person instructed her she was intimidating.

When the person instructed Bowman they’d little question tangle, Bowman mentioned if they’d a disagreement, it will be solved professionally behind closed doorways. The male colleague mentioned he would get pleasure from that state of affairs.

The go well with is anticipated to incorporate that Bowman voiced her considerations concerning the interviewee’s habits and commentary to Gallagher, however her boss quickly employed the person for the brand new function anyway.

Bowman mentioned she tried to talk privately with the person about enhancing their working relationship, after repeated feedback about her look and an invite to stick with the person at an Airbnb throughout a enterprise journey.

She’s anticipated to say he had a sample of pacing forwards and backwards exterior her workplace, a number of occasions a day, though they labored on totally different flooring and her workplace wasn’t close to an workplace the male colleague would have purpose to go to. Bowman mentioned her staff took discover of his presence.

By February 2019, Bowman mentioned the male colleague had, on a number of events, blatantly scanned her physique up and down a number of occasions, whereas making feedback about her garments and physique. Over time, she started taking precautions to not be alone with the male colleague.

When Bowman spoke to Gallagher concerning the male colleague’s habits, she mentioned she was instructed she wanted to be taught to get together with him. Bowman claims she instructed Gallagher the difficulty wasn’t about getting alongside, however was as an alternative about unacceptable habits that put United Way Worldwide in danger.

In October 2019, Bowman mentioned she made her remaining try to resolve work points with the male colleague privately, however he grew to become passive-aggressive and bullied Bowman by yelling at her, dismissing her considerations, and insulting her.

After reporting the unsettling interactions to at the very least three feminine members of administration, Bowman says human sources took no significant motion, and her earlier standing and tasks with the charity began to wither.

Employees who had been assigned to her crew have been moved to the male colleague’s crew. At roughly the identical time, as Bowman was being pushed apart, her alleged harasser was promoted.

During a gathering on Jan. 9, 2020, Gallagher instructed Bowman, “I don’t want you,” and mentioned a newly employed govt could be the charity’s high advertising particular person.

While human sources agreed that Bowman’s final day with the charity could be Feb. 21, 2020, she was abruptly fired on Feb. 6.

Bowman is anticipated to state she’s been unable to seek out comparable employment and has suffered vital monetary losses.

In addition, she’ll declare that due to United Way’s actions she’s suffered and continues to undergo from ache, psychological anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, stress and nervousness.

In March 2020, Bowman filed a cost of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging discrimination based mostly on intercourse, leading to harassment and a hostile work atmosphere, in addition to retaliation, beneath Title VII.

In February 2021, Gallagher resigned from United Way Worldwide, three days after a regulation agency employed by the nonprofit concluded United Way had demonstrated no “actionable” sexual bias.

Nearly 4 years later, on March 7, 2024, the EEOC notified Bowman and United Way Worldwide that it was closing its investigation and offering a Notice of Right to Sue, which allowed Bowman 90 days to file a lawsuit.

WTOP is in search of remark from United Way Worldwide.

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