Two former Cambria Pines Lodge employees said manager made unwelcome sexual advances and suggestions
Cambria — Two former employees of the Cambria Pines Lodge were awarded more than $766,000 Wednesday after a jury agreed with allegations that they were sexually harassed by a manager at the hotel.
Susan Bradford and Lavona Stanley were awarded damages for lost wages and pain and suffering they endured while working for manager Phil Estrada at the lodge, said attorney Dan Siegel of the Oakland-based firm Siegel & Yee.
Estrada could not be reached for comment after the verdict was delivered Wednesday afternoon.
Bradford worked as a receptionist, administrative assistant and front desk manager from September 1999 to March 2001. Stanley worked as a waitress from May 1999 to August 2000.
Both women said Estrada sexually harassed them while they were employed. The harassment included unwelcome sexual contact and suggestions, including fondling other employees in their presence or frequently making comments that were sexually suggestive.
After raising complaints about Estrada to another lodge official and Dirk Winter, the owner of Cambria Pines, the women said Estrada retaliated against them, including yelling at them on the job and ignoring their questions.
Stanley said Estrada interfered with her work performance, falsely accused her of misconduct and reduced the number of shifts she was given to work. Stanley resigned from her position on September 1, 2000.
Bradford said she was fired by Estrada in March 2001.
The women said Winter was aware of Estrada’s behavior but did nothing. Winter, owner of Moonstone Hotel Properties, a 14-inn California/Oregon chain that includes the Cambria Lodge, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Moonstone Hotel Properties is one of the largest employers on the North Coast.
A jury of 10 women and two men decided that Bradford should receive $2,184 in back pay and $250,000 for emotional distress. Stanley was awarded $14,400 in lost wages and $500,000 for pain and suffering.
The jury is set to decide today if punitive damages should be warded.
“I’m in shock,” Stanley said following the verdict. “I think we deserved it.”