August 18th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts, CLEAN UP

JUICY SUITS: BridgePort Busboy Claims Sexual Harassment (Updated)


UPDATE: The plaintiff, Chris Smith, dropped this lawsuit on March 18, 2010.

A former busboy is suing the BridgePort Brewing Company, claiming he faced months of sexual harassment because his boss refused to believe he was straight.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, current California resident Chris Smith claims he started work at BridgePort on Jan. 2, 2008. Working first as a host and then as a busser, he was paid $9 an hour, the lawsuit says.

Beginning about one month into his job, the lawsuit says, Smith was subjected to unwanted sexual advances by his direct supervisor, assistant general manager Dave Pendleton, including allegations that Pendleton allegedly:

•Told Smith he looked sexy.

Grabbed Smith's bicep and told him he looked good in his shirt.

Stood too close to Smith when speaking to him.

•Touched Smith and placed his hand in the small of his back.

•Told Smith he was the "gayest straight guy" he had met.

•Said "for some guys it takes until 23 to learn they like to fuck men."

According to the lawsuit, Smith told Pendleton multiple times that he wasn't gay and arranged to have Pendleton meet his girlfriend. But Pendleton persisted, the lawsuit says.

Smith's colleagues told him they'd seen Pendleton treat other male employees the same way, and some said they had experienced it themselves, the lawsuit says.

According to the lawsuit, after Smith repeatedly refused his advances Pendleton behaved in a "passive-aggressive manner" and became "hyper-critical of his work." When Smith took bathroom breaks, Pendleton told him he should "pee faster," the lawsuit says.

Pendleton fired Smith on Sept. 1, 2008, telling him that he worked too slowly, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit, filed by Portland lawyer Elizabeth McKanna against BridgePort and its parent company in Texas, claims Smith was the victim of sexual harassment and retaliation.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount for Smith's "past and future" lost pay, plus $250,000 for pain and suffering, and a court order that BridgePort is barred from engaging in "sexual and retaliatory harassment."

BridgePort brewpub manager Bob Negele has not yet returned a phone call seeking comment.

Read about more Juicy Suits here.
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