If you thought sexual harassment only extends between the interactions of a man and a woman, here's a reminder that it can happen to anyone, no matter of the mix of genders involved.
Yahoo! executive Maria Zhang is in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought on by her former employee who's accusing her of not only sexual harassment, but also of wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The complaint states that Zhang made Shi have oral and digital sex with her on multiple occasions and was told that she would have a bright future at Yahoo if she did what she was told.
Zhang is a senior director of engineering, helping lead the company’s attempt to improve their mobile efforts. Nan Shi, the woman filing the suit against her, worked as a principal software engineer at Yahoo!. The complaint states that Zhang made Shi have oral and digital sex with her on multiple occasions and was told that she would have a bright future at Yahoo! if she did what she was told.
According to the New York Post, Shi is seeking monetary and punitive damages. The lawsuit also names Yahoo! as a defendant in the case. However, Yahoo! is doing everything in its power to defend both their name and Zhang’s. In an email, the company says, “There is absolutely no basis or truth to the allegations against Maria Zhang. Maria is an exemplary Yahoo executive and we intend to fight vigorously to clear her name.”
Shi also claims that after attempting to resist Zhang’s advances, Zhang gave her a bad performance review and removed her as project lead. San Jose Mercury News reports, “When she reported the abuse to Yahoo, Shi says, the company did nothing to stop it and then put her on what eventually became an unpaid leave followed by final termination that took effect Friday.”
Shi says that the advances went on for a while but she didn’t to say anything in the fear that it would ruin her career. Shi says that when Zhang initially came on to her she said “We’re friends, I love you as a person, but not as a lover,” after Zhang crawled into her bed naked one night.
Whether the allegations are true or not we can expect to hear much more about the story as it unfolds.