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April 16, 2018 10:09 PM

Woman Claims She Was Sexually Harassed On Company Trip

A Sioux Falls woman is suing her former employer claiming she was sexually harassed during a company trip to Mexico. 

In the lawsuit obtained by KELOLAND News Timberly Swier claims in February of 2017, while on the trip she won for being a top performer in the company, she was subjected to several instances of sexual harassment and physical assaults by Vast Broadband's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Larry Eby and Vice President of Commercial Sales Brett Ritter. 

In the lawsuit, Swier says Eby slapped and patted her buttocks while at a dance club in Cancun with other Vast Broadband employees. She also says she saw Eby grab another employee's wife by the breast. 

Swier says while on a beach by their resort, she and other employees were pressured into an evening swim. That's when she claims Ritter stripped off his clothes in front of everyone and said "Go Big or Go Home." 

Swier says she reluctantly got into the water with her clothes on. That's when she says Ritter pulled off her dress and tried taking off her bra, before she was able to get away.  

After returning from Mexico, Swier talked to several of her co-workers about what Ritter and Eby had allegedly done, but no one suggested that she report it to HR. Swier says she thought if she complained about the sexual harassing behavior she would be fired.   
On April 19, she was given a warning by her immediate supervisors for performance.  But claims male co-workers who performed in the same way did not get disciplined. 

Swier says she was being targeted and treated unfairly. After meetings with HR, Swier was given $1.45 an hour raise. 

Then in June, one month after she had been given a raise, Swier was fired. 

Beside sexual harassment, Swier is also claiming she was sexually discriminated and retaliated against.

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