the lack of confidence among its
Tourné and Jarvis did not respond to CU Times’ email andphone requests for comment. Jarvis’ listed lawyer on court documents also did not return CUTimes’ email and phone requestsfor comment.
Harney, who told his wife aboutthese workplace issues that lastedfor more than nine years, declinedto comment when reached at hishome.
He was hired in July 2010 as director of operations for what wasthen named ASI Federal CreditUnion.
According to court documents,within the first few months after being hired, Tourné allegedlysexually harassed Harney. Thedocuments included claims thatshe repeatedly told him the sexualacts she would do to him and thatthey should run away togethereven though she knew he wasmarried.
“She would also go into explicitdetail about her sex life,” Harneywrote in court documents.
Although he objected to theseremarks and complained aboutthem, Harney alleged credit unionofficials ignored him. In its courtpapers, OnPath denied theseallegations.
In addition to the sexual harass-
ment, Harney also alleged that
many times over several years,
Tourné forced him to take vaca-
tion days to work on her proper-
ties in Covington and Metairie, La.
“This was well known at ASI
and I believe the CFO even report-
ed it to the board,” Harney said in
court documents. “This work was
very labor intensive and included
building houses, cutting down
trees and fixing everything.”
On one occasion, a contractor
delivered several tons of limestone
to one of Tourné’s properties. After
Tourné allegedly forced Harney to
move the limestone by hand, he
claimed that he was in excruciat-
ing pain and could barely walk
while at work. Harney told his boss
he had to go home to recover.
“Due to the pain, several em-
ployees of ASI had to help me
to my car when I left,” Harney
claimed. “Will (Harney’s boss)
told Minghon about my injury
and she immediately called me
and told me not to say that I had
hurt my back at her property but
instead to say that I had hurt it at
Harney also alleged that the
former CEO forced him to work
on other properties, including a
private school in New Orleans
where she served on its board of
Harney alleged this work heperformed was discriminatorybecause Tourné did not force female employees to work on herproperties.
In the fall of 2015, Tourné announced she would be steppingdown in 2016 as CEO, a positionshe held for nine years. She alsoserved on the credit union’s boardof directors for 20 years. There wasno specific reason given for herresignation, though she continued as CEO until her replacementwas found and said she plannedto serve as a consultant for thecredit union.
In May 2016, Jarvis took over asCEO.
“In the beginning everything
seemed fine and we were getting
a lot of work done,” Harney said.
“However, the sexual discrimina-
tion, harassment and retaliation
continued. The first such inci-
dent with Sonya occurred when I
walked into her office to discuss a
project and she made a comment
about my clothes that made me
Harney claimed Jarvis began
setting up more meetings with
him, during which she would tell
him that “she had sexual fanta-
sies” about Harney and about
the sexual things she would do
at night while she thought about
him, and repeatedly told him
about the sexual acts that she
wanted to perform on him, ac-
cording to court documents.
Harney also claimed Jarvis setup private Gmail accounts forhim and her, which she allegedlyused to send him sexually explicitemails and texts. Court documents also revealed that duringan after-work hours dinner withJarvis, Harney and another executive, the CEO placed her hand onHarney’s leg and crotch.
“I let her know that this was notwelcome and that she was makingme feel uncomfortable,” Harneysaid.
The next day, Jarvis allegedlycalled Harney into her office andinstructed him to apologize to theother executive because he mayhave gotten the wrong idea thatHarney was hitting on her. WhenHarney offered an apology, theexecutive allegedly said Harneyhad nothing to apologize for andthat Jarvis owed both of them anapology.
As Harney claimed to have rejected Jarvis’ sexual advances, shebegan to treat him differently atwork.
“The stress of the whole thingfinally caught up with me and Iended up in the hospital with amild heart attack in December2016 and spent the next day and ahalf in the hospital,” he said.
To get away from Jarvis, Harneybegan working remotely from oneof the branches. This worked for awhile until Jarvis found out aboutit and allegedly continued to sexually harass him.
“Because of this, I started working from home, but this madethings worse as I began to be criticized at work and given evaluations that negatively impacted mycareer chances at ASI,” Harneysaid in court documents.
In January 2019, Harney wascontacted by a lawyer for the credit union’s supervisory committee.During their three-hour meeting,the lawyer questioned whetherHarney had an improper relationship with Jarvis and about sexualharassment.
Because Harney alleged Jar-
vis threatened him about saying
anything to the lawyer, Harney
claimed he was nervous during
the questioning and only gave
“as much detail as was absolutely
He claimed to have denied hav-
ing a sexual relationship with Jar-
vis and confirmed the sexual ha-
Harney said he hunted fora new job and had interviews,but suspected he was neverhired because Jarvis or someonefrom the credit union retaliatedagainst him, according to courtdocuments.
Harney said he was unlawfullyterminated in June.
Sometime after that, Jarvislanded the CEO’s job at the $367million Navigator Credit Union inPascagoula, Miss.
The chance of Harney’s lawsuitever being heard before a jury is along shot.
Most sexual harassment casesare dismissed by federal judgesand only 3% to 6% of those casesmake it to trial, according to a2017 report by National PublicRadio. The news report cited research conducted by University ofCincinnati professor Sandra Sperino, who co-authored a book onemployment discrimination withSuja Thomas of the University ofIllinois.
The book’s research revealedthat federal courts have developed ways to judge workplacediscrimination cases that tip thescale in favor of employers overemployees. Because the legalstandard to prove sexual harassment is high, federal judges havedismissed cases even when therehave been repeated incidents ofsexual harassment, Sperino indicated in the NPR report.
In a 1986 U.S. Supreme Courtdecision the “behavior needs tobe ‘severe and pervasive’ in orderto qualify as harassment, whetherit’s on the basis of sex or race,” according to the NPR report.
The number of sexual harassment complaints has averaged about 7,284 from 2010to 2019, according to the U.S.Equal Employment OpportunityCommission.
In 2010, 16% of those cases werefiled by men, which increased tonearly 18% in 2012. From 2013 to2015, about 17% of the sexual harassment complaints were filed bymen. But from 2016 to 2019, thenumber of complaints fell slightlyto about 16%. n
ComplaintsCONT. FROM PAGE 1
Y Though most workplace sexual harassmentcomplaints are filed by women, the number ofcomplaints filed by men has been increasing.
Y Former credit union executive Matt Harneyalleges he was sexually harassed by twoCEOs.
Y The credit union denies all of Harney’sallegations, but claims one of the CEOsbreached her executive duties.
‘I let her know that thiswas not welcome andthat she was making mefeel uncomfortable.’