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Woman sues TN Lottery over 'toxic' workplace, harassment

Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: Woman sues TN Lottery over 'toxic' workplace, harassment
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A former employee is suing the Tennessee Lottery in federal court, saying supervisors constantly sexually harassed her and then had her fired for complaining.

Former District Manager Denise Armstrong filed the suit Wednesday in federal court in Nashville, seeking her job back, back pay and an injunction against further harassment. In her suit, she names several supervisors, including current Executive Vice President of Sales Sidney Chambers, as creating a work environment hostile to women because of inappropriate remarks and sexual harassment.

Armstrong's attorney, Andy Allman, couldn't be reached for comment. Officials with the Tennessee Lottery declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Armstrong had been an employee since 2003 and, according to her lawsuit, had been rewarded for her performance. But the suit says the harassment was constant.

For example, Chambers and other supervisors would joke about hiring "young pretty girls" for promotions and events and that they should hold a "hot yoga class" for female employees, the suit says. At a May 2012 convention, another supervisor, who has since retired, was called out for making inappropriate remarks about and even to female attendees.

The lawsuit says that even male employees took notice.

"On July 31 (2012), a male district manager for (the lottery) submitted a complaint to the President of the Tennessee Education Lottery detailing the toxic work environment and prevalent gender discrimination," the lawsuit said.

The lottery fired Armstrong on June 12, 2013. She filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission two months later, a step that helps clear the way for filing a lawsuit.

Previous complaints

This isn't the first time Tennessee Lottery employees have complained about harassment. In 2006, the lottery's second-in-command, Steve Adams, was fired after sending crude and sexual emails to at least one female subordinate. In the aftermath of his firing, previous reports were released accusing Adams of groping an employee's rear at a 2004 event and pressuring another woman to dance against her wishes.

Tennessean

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29 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by Shelby Mustang.
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noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
Bay Area/ California
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Posted: July 5, 2014, 3:10 pm - IP Logged

l sure would love to see a picture of Denise Armstrong.Nevertheless sexual harassment of any kind is not to be tolerated, if her accusations are proven to be true, l say hit them where they live: their pocketbooks. Send a loud and clear message up the Tennessee lottery corporate chain that this behavior is unacceptable under any circumstances. 

    mrcraft's avatar - images3lp4 zps7dbb4a10.jpg
    Los Angeles, California
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    Posted: July 5, 2014, 3:32 pm - IP Logged

    Boy, Tennessee Lottery has lots of issues.  Players hate playing their own games, and employees are treated like crap inside.

      maringoman's avatar - kobold
      Massachusetts
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      Posted: July 5, 2014, 4:50 pm - IP Logged

      If she's seeking to get her job back, I wonder why she's on the outside. More details would be nice.

      It's a futile effort.

        noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
        Bay Area/ California
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        Posted: July 5, 2014, 5:12 pm - IP Logged

        If she's seeking to get her job back, I wonder why she's on the outside. More details would be nice.

        That's a trick question. ..right?

        She is on the " outside" because she got fired, by all accounts not because she was incompetent.

        Perhaps jobs are few & far between in Tenn-She wants her good paying job back...minus the harassment.

          maringoman's avatar - kobold
          Massachusetts
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          Posted: July 5, 2014, 5:29 pm - IP Logged

          That's a trick question. ..right?

          She is on the " outside" because she got fired, by all accounts not because she was incompetent.

          Perhaps jobs are few & far between in Tenn-She wants her good paying job back...minus the harassment.

          I totally missed the first sentence because I was reading this article on my phone. I hope she gets a big payout and those morons get fired.

          It's a futile effort.

            Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
            RIGHT HERE!!
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            February 17, 2012
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            Posted: July 5, 2014, 5:44 pm - IP Logged

            l sure would love to see a picture of Denise Armstrong.Nevertheless sexual harassment of any kind is not to be tolerated, if her accusations are proven to be true, l say hit them where they live: their pocketbooks. Send a loud and clear message up the Tennessee lottery corporate chain that this behavior is unacceptable under any circumstances. 

            What she looks like shouldn't matter....

              Artist77's avatar - batman14

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              Posted: July 5, 2014, 5:52 pm - IP Logged

              If a male employee complained as well, you know it has to be bad there. It sounds like something from the 1950's. I think a house cleaning is in order. I bet all those old boys doing the harassing are 50-80 lbs overweight and have beer guts. I don't think some southern states offer the best work opportunities for women. I took an interview in a southern state many years ago after my post college degree, and I was fairly appalled by the person interviewing me and his wife (who did not even work there).  They had difficulty understanding why someone in their 20's was not married with 3 kids already. I was like....umm...I just got out of school! lol

              Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars,

              because it is his natural characteristic,

              so the artist works.

              by Alma  Gluck

                Artist77's avatar - batman14

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                Posted: July 5, 2014, 5:54 pm - IP Logged

                What she looks like shouldn't matter....

                Amen. Sexual harassment is a power and control game.

                Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars,

                because it is his natural characteristic,

                so the artist works.

                by Alma  Gluck

                  noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                  Bay Area/ California
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                  Posted: July 5, 2014, 6:49 pm - IP Logged

                  What she looks like shouldn't matter....

                  l gave my personal opinion- nothing more Nikki. Its no different than getting a report of someone winning the lottery, we all would like to see the winner, unless they claim anonymously.

                  Since Denise has claimed to have been constantly harassed- l sure would like to see what brought this on, is it her beauty or what?ln case you have not noticed, we are a curious species. On a personal note: l  have 2 sisters who thankfully have never reported being sexual harassed despite them being gorgeous in my estimation, .. so no finger pointing thank you.

                    mediabrat's avatar - 18z0typ
                    upstate NY
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                    Posted: July 5, 2014, 7:26 pm - IP Logged

                    l gave my personal opinion- nothing more Nikki. Its no different than getting a report of someone winning the lottery, we all would like to see the winner, unless they claim anonymously.

                    Since Denise has claimed to have been constantly harassed- l sure would like to see what brought this on, is it her beauty or what?ln case you have not noticed, we are a curious species. On a personal note: l  have 2 sisters who thankfully have never reported being sexual harassed despite them being gorgeous in my estimation, .. so no finger pointing thank you.

                    You want to know "what brought this on"?  Simple, really; it's Tennessee, what else did you expect?  Like Artist said, it's the South, it's not exactly an area full of enlightened people.

                    By the way, just because your sisters have never told YOU about being sexually harassed does not necessarily mean it's never happened.  I mean, I certainly HOPE they've never had to experience that, but one of the things we as a society learned from one of the recent mass shootings (the one in California where the guy was lashing out at women who wouldn't give him the time of day and men who managed to "get the girl") is that almost all women have received some form of unwanted sexual attention.

                      Artist77's avatar - batman14

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                      Posted: July 5, 2014, 7:38 pm - IP Logged

                      Well I was not trashing the South or the people (I am originally from there) and discrimination can and does occur in all of the USA. However, if I had a daughter with a professional degree (JD, MD, et) and she had job offers in various states, I would advise her to go with the largest and most diverse city.

                      Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars,

                      because it is his natural characteristic,

                      so the artist works.

                      by Alma  Gluck

                        TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

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                        Posted: July 5, 2014, 9:06 pm - IP Logged

                        I dont understand why they get by with all the cheating the players for so long.No one that I know wins nothing.This lottery has been running for 10 years and the payouts are still the same all the time.Has been....When they let more people win I will play again.But when I travel I do play other states.I wont waste my gas to play here because I know I wont win....Its simple but a losing battle...

                          veganlife125's avatar - Lottery-061.jpg

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                          Posted: July 5, 2014, 9:19 pm - IP Logged

                          This is kitty kat's kind of topic to let loose on.  I clicked to see and sho nuff!

                          $1 Quick Pick > 1 Winner > 1 Billion+ > 1 Press Conference > MegaMillions #1!

                          Don't forget to visit the Lottery Post Gift Shop!

                            Igamble's avatar - spider
                            nj
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                            August 10, 2013
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                            Posted: July 5, 2014, 11:17 pm - IP Logged

                            I  hope that  while she is still unemployed by the Lottery of TN she will think about joining LP and teaching about sums and tricks and tips to get ahead in p3/4 games ….as long as she is not affiliated with them anymore that should b legal.

                              There are all mostly nice folks here,and no harrasment here ! only praise if we get some good systems !