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<xTITLE>Men's Sexual Harassment Claim Against Woman Boss Headed to Mediation</xTITLE>

Men's Sexual Harassment Claim Against Woman Boss Headed to Mediation

by Victoria Pynchon
September 2012

Settle It Now and ABC of Conflict Blog by Victoria Pynchon

Victoria Pynchon

Yes, Virginia, women as well as men can act the role of the sexually bullying boss. We tend to be surprised about this only because of our benevolent biases about women – in this case – that they are too inhibited or “nice” to use sex as a tool for workplace bullying.

My suspicion is that women simply haven’t been in a position to sexually harass their subordinates for long enough to bring this pan-gender problem to light.

The story giving rise to this meditation on women sexually harassing men in the workplace is the case of former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Chief of Staff, Suzanne Barr. The news is that the sexual discrimination and retaliation claims made against her by workers in the ICE’s New York field office are about to be mediated by a federal magistrate judge in Washington, D.C.

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This case, like most, is he said-she said, but better than most because there are at least three he-saids against Barr’s single she-said.

As HSToday.US reported yesterday,

At least three ICE employees made serious complaints alleging inappropriate sexual behavior by Barr . . . and a letter describing the claims . . . were submitted to a congressional oversight committee and reported by the Associated Press and Homeland Security Today last week.

Barr has resigned and denied wrong-doing.

Read on at the She Negotiates Blog at ForbesWoman here.


Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all types of business torts and contract disputes.  During her two years of full-time neutral practice, she has co-mediated both mandatory and voluntary settlement conferences with Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Alexander Williams, III and Victoria Chaney.  As a result of her work with Judge Chaney in the Complex Court at Central Civil West, Ms. Pynchon has gained significant experience mediating construction defect litigation.  Ms. Pynchon received her J.D., Order of the Coif, from the U.C. Davis School of Law. 

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