Houston appellate lawyer Ruth Piller filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against her former employer, Houston's Hays, McConn, Rice & Pickering, where she worked for nine years.
In the EEOC complaint, Piller alleges the firm discriminated against her on the basis of her gender and her neurological disorder-related disability; subjected her to a "sexually hostile work environment"; and retaliated against her. Specifically, Piller alleges the firm terminated her in October 2011 and failed to accommodate her disability; members of the firm's management, led by shareholder Staton M. Childers, harassed her with emails that included Photoshopped images of Piller's face on a naked body covered with sushi and on a body in a men's room holding a tape measure as an unidentified man uses a urinal.
Her complaint reads in part:
"Hays McConn, through its male management committee, instituted, nurtured, and encouraged a culture among its male attorneys of exposing female partners and associates alike to a systematic, long-term, sexually hostile, gender degrading culture designed to remind and enforce the idea among its female lawyers that Hays, McConn is a men's club and the women are second-class citizens,"