Chelsea M. Cole said she met requirements for the sales rep job, including being “a cute girl age 25-37.”
But after being hired in 2016 at Lindsey Software Systems Inc. of Little Rock, the Pulaski County woman alleged in a lawsuit recently filed in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, she was the target of “illegal discrimination and harassment” because of her sex. The alleged harassment was “so pervasive that it rose to the level of being a hostile work environment,” the lawsuit said.
Cole alleged that the CEO of the company, John Lindsey, texted photos “that included at least two pictures of his genitals.”
Cole said that after she reported the incident to the vice president, her sales commission was cut from 15 percent to 5 percent. The starting pay for the position was between $45,000 and $50,000, according to the job description — which included the part about being a cute girl — posted by Career Staffing Services and attached as an exhibit in the lawsuit.
Lindsey Software’s products include software for property managers and tenants. The company’s website boasts that Lindsey and Chairman Trey Lindsey have led it to become the largest provider of computer software and fee accounting services for the public housing industry.
Cole was fired in 2016 for reasons that were “trumped up,” she said in the lawsuit, filed by her attorney, Elizabeth LaRue-Grigg of Little Rock.
Cole is seeking an unspecified amount of money for damages.
Lindsey Software “vehemently denies” Cole’s allegations against John Lindsey and the company, Regina Young, an attorney at the Little Rock law firm of Wright Lindsey & Jennings, said in an email to Whispers.
Young said that after Cole was fired, she made a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, echoing the same allegations in the lawsuit.
“The EEOC conducted a thorough investigation of Ms. Cole’s claims and dismissed them,” Young said. “The allegations she has made against Mr. Lindsey are false, and the job order details document referenced by Ms. Cole was unknown to Mr. Lindsey until the lawsuit was filed.”
Young said that Lindsey Software stands behind John Lindsey’s leadership.
“We are proud of the work that we do and will continue to strive to meet the needs of our customers, thanks in no small part to the dedication of our professional staff,” Young said.