International polymer company Solvay’s headquarters in Brussels. The company also has headquarters in Alpharetta. 
Photo: Jean Michel Byl - Solvay website
Photo: Jean Michel Byl - Solvay website

Suit: Woman called ‘sugar pants,’ endured racial slurs at Fulton job

A Douglasville woman who was fired from her Alpharetta job after raising complaints about sexual harassment is suing her former employer. 

Wendy Benson’s co-workers at international company Solvay Specialty Polymers made sexual innuendos and talked about her body, according to the lawsuit. 

The suit alleged that colleagues on the R&D technician’s predominantly male team “would often ask her on dates and would walk behind (Benson) and press their bodies onto her in a sexual manner.”

One man showed Benson his erection and said he “thought about her sexually all the time,” according to the filing. 

Benson’s “immediate lead” allegedly called her “sugar pants,” asked her to stay at his place and gave “uncomfortably close hugs.”

See below to read the full lawsuit. 

Sexual harassment complaints to her supervisor were reportedly never investigated, which allowed the harassment to continue on a “near daily basis.”

A Solvay spokesman said the company does not discuss pending litigation. Its headquarters in Alpharetta are located at 4500 McGinnis Ferry Road. 

In addition to sexual harassment, Benson is suing for race discrimination and unlawful retaliation. Related claims alleged that because Solvay knew of the conduct and did not take appropriate steps to protect her, it is responsible for assault and battery and negligent retention/supervision. 

She says a co-worker subjected her to racial slurs by constantly using words like the N-word “when referring to African Americans in the workplace.”

RELATED: Controversial group out in suit over Roswell cop’s Confederate flag

RELATED: Cops: Man hides gun near Alpharetta bar, tells cops they won't find it

Her complaints to her supervisor about the racist comments also seemed to fall on deaf ears. 

In March, Benson was called to a meeting and informed by HR representative Keri Williams that three employees complained about her and were “not willing to work with her.” 

The suit does not acknowledge the nature of those complaints. 

Benson, shocked and upset, informed Williams of her own complaints. 

About two weeks later, she was fired. 

Benson, who said she did not want to comment until she spoke to her attorney, J. Stephen Mixon, seeks lost wages and damages.

Mixon did not return attempts for comment.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.