Woman spanked at work awarded $1.7 million

Team-building exercise is ruled to have been sexual harassment and battery.

By Katharine Mieszkowski
April 29, 2006 2:19AM (UTC)
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Here's an update on that case of spanking on the job, in which a worker sued her former employer for $1.2 million over motivational team-building exercises that involved her colleagues whacking her in the butt.

Friday, a Fresno, Calif., jury awarded $500,000 to plaintiff Janet Orlando after finding that she had suffered sexual harassment and sexual battery. Here's how that money breaks down: $10,000 for economic loss, $40,000 for future medical costs and $450,000 for emotional distress, pain and suffering. Now, the jury will decide how the company should be punished.


Orlando, according to the Associated Press, saw herself as "a mother figure to others in her team" at Alarm One, a security company, and "found it degrading to have to turn around, show her backside to a roomful of young men and women and get paddled."

For managers in corporate America seeking team-building alternatives to spanking, diaper wearing and baby-food feeding -- all practices Alarm One embraced -- might I suggest a grown-up lunch out on the company's dime?

Update: Late Friday, the jury awarded Orlando an additional $1.2 million in punitive damages, bringing the total awarded to $1.7 million.

Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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