HoneyBaked Ham manager accused of treating employee like piece of meat in EEOC complaint

HoneyBaked Ham may specialize in succulent cuts of meat, but that doesn't mean employees are supposed to be treated like another item on the menu. That's among the accusations in a complaint from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which alleges incidents of sexual harassment at the company's Colorado stores.

The focus of the EEOC lawsuit is reportedly one James Jackman, a regional manager for the company. The complaint contends that Wendy Cabrera, a manager at the HoneyBaked Ham outlet in Highlands Ranch, and other women were targeted by the man, who specialized in sexual comments and inappropriate touching.

Cabrera didn't take this sort of behavior laying down. Instead, she complained to higher-ups. Her reward? She was criticized for making poor hires and then sacked in May 2010.

The EEOC suit, which seeks damages and back pay for Cabrera, also accuses the company of punishing or firing other women for griping about such treatment.

In response to these allegations, HoneyBaked Ham issued a statement stressing that it doesn't tolerate sexual harassment and insisting that it fully reviewed and took action in the assorted cases last year. "It is the policy of The HoneyBaked Ham Co. that all associates should be able to enjoy a work atmosphere free from all forms of discrimination, including harassment," the statement maintains.

If the EEOC determines otherwise, its judgment won't leave a good taste.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts