A ‘butt-obsessed’ female manager at a New York-based women’s organization regularly ‘smacked, grabbed and pinched’ the backsides of the women she supervised, according to a new sexual harassment complaint.
Krissy DeMonte allegedly drove colleagues out of the National Association of Professional Women in Garden City, Long Island, where she has been a supervisor since September 2010.
In legal papers, two former workers claim Ms DeMonte – who was pictured on Facebook burying another woman’s head into her breasts – called them names such as ‘vixen,’ ‘cutie’ and ‘hottie’ as well as ‘bitch,’ ‘a**hole’ and ‘dirtbag’ and made a daily beeline for their butts.
‘She was obsessed with butts. On an almost daily basis, she would smack me on the bum, pinch us, grope at us, and call us names like ‘bitch’ or ‘hottie’,’ Crystal Alexander, 26, told MailOnline.
The NAPW boasts on it’s website of empowering women but another former colleague, Monique McCabe, said Ms DeMonte made her feel the opposite with her backside-slapping and derogatory remarks.
‘She’d say things like you’re hot, you’re sexy, no wonder all the guys love you,’ Ms McCabe, 28, said.
‘It made us very uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to do.’
Ms McCabe and Ms Alexander – both single mothers – said they complained to human resources on multiple occasions but when Ms DeMonte found out, she became hostile and disciplined them.
Both women were let go by the company in May 2012 and claim that it was because they spoke out about the ‘humiliating’ abuse.
But the NAPW has stood by its manager, quashing the claims as inaccurate.
‘The organization stands collectively and unwaveringly behind its manager who has been made the victim of these false accusations,’ a spokesman told MailOnline.
Ms McCabe, who worked under Ms DeMonte for almost two years, said she complained to HR twice about how she was being treated.
‘The first time nothing happened and the butt-slapping continued,’ she said. ‘The second time she stopped but from that point on they were looking for any reason to get rid of me.’
Ms Alexander said she complained three times before HR told her they had to let her go.
‘We felt humiliated, disrespected, low and worthless,’ Ms Alexander said.
The women said they weren’t the only ones Ms DeMonte targeted, adding that the harassment was rife in the NAPW office. They were, however, the only ones given the sack, they said.
Other employees have signed affidavits to support the women’s claims.
Ms McCabe said she was threatened by the company when they heard of the complaint.
‘No one should be subject to this kind of treatment in the workplace,’ Ms Alexander said.
Both mothers are still looking for work.
‘I’m really struggling to make ends meet at the moment,’ Ms McCabe told MailOnline. ‘It’s been very difficult financially and emotionally.’
They are suing for just compensation, but have not specified an amount.
The women weren’t aware whether Ms DeMonte was a lesbian or not and recalled the woman discussing men she had dated.
‘The organization claims to be the largest active women’s association in the country and everything they claim to do is to empower women and help them succeed, ‘ Ms McCabe said.
‘But this is the most disempowering thing you can do to a young woman. I was treated like a sex object.’
Ms DeMonte is still working at the NAPW and the organisation has rallied around her.
‘During her three years with the organization she has been a leader, a positive example and a motivating force for our exclusively female team of membership coordinators,’ the spokesman said, adding that sexual harassment was not condoned.
‘It has become very clear that the two former employees are using a hot-button topic for personal gain.’