New York, NY – Several former and current employees of ad agency Sterling Cooper have banded together to file a class action lawsuit against their employer. The suit was filed Thursday by Abrahmson & Spadowski LLC, a law firm specializing in sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims.
“After doing extensive research, we feel that the environment at Sterling Cooper was extremely denigrating to the employees, especially women,” said Jacob Abrahmson, principle partner. “The repeated incidents of sexual harassment, debauchery and assault lead us to believe that our clients’ rights have been violated in a way that is pervasive and severe.”
Peggy Olson worked at Sterling Cooper from 1962-1965. She was subjected to brutal harassment on a daily basis. “The men never even worked. They just sat in offices drinking Scotch and chain-smoking all day. Then when the alcohol ran out, they’d all get pretty liberal with the touching. How the firm ever made any money is a complete mystery to me.”
According to the lawsuit, female employees at Sterling Cooper were subjected to daily humiliation ranging from disparaging comments about their appearance to outright sexual assault. The complaint says that the women in the office were often locked into administrative assistant roles when actually their work included office management, copyediting and budget planning. The plaintiffs contend that this systematic discrimination and harassment caused many employees to be severely under-compensated for their work. It seems like top management was not only aware of the illegal activities, but actually encouraged and fostered the office culture.
Sterling Cooper’s lawyers will be going with the “they were asking for it / what’s the big deal?” defense. They have contended that the existing office culture was one of fun and frivolity. “I mean c’mon!” said John Haverton, a booze-soaked attorney representing the ad agency. “Let’s just be honest and say that women have a certain role in the workplace. They are there to get men their afternoon martinis and, you know, just be a little eye candy. What this suit alleges is that women actually have the capacity to positively contribute to an organization other than dolling themselves up and typing all day, which we all know is silly.” Haverton then proceeded to drink a highball and cheat on his wife.
Don Draper, Creative Director and junior partner echoed the sentiments.
Judges in the year 1960 have already dismissed the case, citing the fact that women are physically unable to read or write so they obviously couldn’t have filed a lawsuit.
Judges in the year 2012 have summarily awarded the plaintiffs 12 million dollars in punitive damages without ever having to hear the actual arguments.