November 2, 2009
Freedom Debt Relief’s Vice President, Scott Dennis, accused of frequently making unlawful and offensive sexual comments and engaging in illegal sexual conduct.
Online PR News – 02-November-2009 – The Armstrong Law Firm has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit (San Mateo County Superior Court, Case No. CIV 489171) on behalf of a Freedom Debt Relief sales coordinator who claims she was subjected to a hostile work environment by her employer and the company’s Vice President, which condoned sexually harassing comments and behavior, negligently employed those accused of sexually harassing conduct, and caused the termination of the employee due to intolerable working conditions.
The plaintiff accuses Freedom Debt Relief’s Vice President, Scott Dennis, of frequently making unlawful and offensive sexual comments and engaging in illegal sexual conduct. Throughout her employment the plaintiff maintains in the complaint that Dennis made explicit sexual comments in her presence regarding women’s anatomy such as their breasts and buttocks, simulated having sex with women by thrusting his hips back and forth and pretending to slap the woman’s behind and simulated other sexual acts in the workplace.
The lawsuit against Dennis, who also serves as VP of Sales for Freedom Financial Network, also claims that he confided to the plaintiff that he had seen a sex tape of two other Freedom Financial employees while stating that he, Scott Dennis, believed everyone in the business world was either a “pimp or ho”.
The plaintiff also alleges in her lawsuit that Freedom Financial Debt Relief and its parent company; Freedom Financial Network did not have an adequate sexual harassment policy> and did not provide adequate sexual harassment training to its employees and managers.
“By not adequately investigating the complaints of my client and by not taking steps to stop the sexual harassment, Freedom Debt Relief and Freedom Financial Network created a work environment that tolerated and sanctioned this type of illegal activity,” said Kelly Armstrong, of The Armstrong Law Firm. As an example, there have been prior sexual harassment allegations against Dennis that resulted in no known disciplinary action, sexual harassment training or even a warning about his conduct. This fact places the company at significant risk of liability for damages by continuing to employ an officer of the company with prior sexual complaints against him.
The work environment was such that the complaint states that Scott Dennis participated in the sending of a daily e-mail among the male sales employees ranking and discussing the “hottest” women in the office, and failing to cease such conduct after the plaintiff became aware of the e-mails and complained.
The lawsuit claims that when another Freedom Debt Relief employee made a complaint against Scott Dennis, Dennis instructed the plaintiff to lie to investigators. The plaintiff reported the action to the company’s Human Resources Department which took no action. The complaint also alleges that Vice President Scott Dennis had relationships with at least two subordinate employees despite the company’s no dating policy. In short, he treated the company as his sexual playground where he felt free to act as part of a good ole boy network without repercussion.
Freedom Financial Network provides consumer debt resolution services through its Freedom Debt Relief and Freedom Tax Relief divisions and was founded by Stanford Business School graduates Andrew Housser and Brad Stroh. In a lawsuit filed a year ago, The Consumer and Environmental Unit of the District Attorney’s Office joined with the California Department of Corporation to sue Freedom Debt Relief Freedom Financial Network and company owners Andrew Housser and Brad Stroh. The lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court claims the defendants engaged in unlawful business practices, including making false or misleading statements to consumers via the Internet and telephone to induce them to buy debt reduction services. The suit also claims the company violated the state financial code by operating without a business license from the Department of Corporation.
About The Armstrong Law Firm The Armstrong Law Firm practices exclusively in the area of employment law and handles all types of employment law matters including sexual discrimination and racial discrimination as well as discrimination based on age, religion, and disability. Our lawyers stand up for persons who face abusive workplace conditions such as sexual harassment, racial harassment, and workplace retaliation. The Armstrong Law Firm has handled several cases which received widespread exposure in the media, including a $20 million whistleblower case and a $75 million age discrimination lawsuit.