Fresno Spanking Lawsuit Could be Moving Forward

August 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Fresno judge is considering a major decision in a lawsuit over a woman getting spanked by her employers. Janet Orlando is about to take her former bosses to trial for the second time. Orlando described the atmosphere at the Alarm One like a strip club. The company admitted using spankings as tools to motivate employees. She sued and won $1.5 million in 2006, but an appeals court threw out the verdict. Orlando is trying to take the company to trial a second time. Butch Wagner is her attorney and says this case needs to be tried because Orlando's health is failing, "That's also affected her ability to work. She's not doing well medically and physically."

On Thursday Alarm One tried to get the case thrown out. They said they never intended to hurt anyone calling the spanking horseplay. But it looks likes the lawsuit will move forward based on the judge's tentative ruling. Judge Donald Black pointed to a company Vice President Rondell Harris. The judge wrote: "Here, Harris knew of the spanking and tacitly approved of them by sitting in on them and laughing and yelling during them. He had authority to fire or discipline the spankers, but did nothing."

While Alarm One claimed the spanking was team building, Orlando's attorney called it sexual harassment. Wagner said, "Because everybody enjoyed them and it was just like fun for everybody and it can't be harassment because it was fun. Well that's just total nonsense. It was fun for all the guys."

The judge should release his final ruling in a few weeks. Orlando's case returns to court in September.

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