A former records manager for Williams Mullen has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and national origin and age discrimination.
The complaint was filed earlier this month in federal court in Norfolk by Hanh Nguyen Allgood, a 53-year-old Vietnamese national, who worked for the firm from July 1989 until March 2007.
The suit, first reported by Style Weekly in Richmond, alleges that a senior partner, Robert E. Eicher, “repeatedly engaged in sexual behaviors and made ethnic slurs.” Ardra M. O’Neal, a sole practitioner in Washington, represents Allgood.
Allgood said she complained about Eicher’s behavior but alleged that it became worse over time. Rather than respond to her complaints, the firm retaliated against her by reducing her responsibilities and assigning her duties to younger workers, according to the suit.
James V. Meath, the vice chairman of the firm’s board, said Allgood was one of about half a dozen who filed discrimination complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within the last couple of years.
The EEOC has not taken action on any of the complaints, which Meath said indicates the firm’s anti-discrimination commitment “has been fully vetted and has been found to be very strong. … We’ll defend ourselves vigorously.”
By Alan Cooper