Garments & the Gorilla Foundation

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2005:

SAN MATEO, California– Former Gorilla Foundation employees
Nancy Alperin, 47, and Kendra Keller, 48, both of San Francisco,
on February 15, 2005 sued the foundation in San Mateo County
Superior Court for alleged wrongful dismissal and gender
discrimination, claiming damages of $719,830 and $366,192,
Alperin and Keller in January 2005 gave the California
Department of Fair Employment and Housing “identical reasons for why
they were fired: ‘I refused to expose my breast to perform acts of
bestiality with one of the gorillas,’ said San Francisco Chronicle
staff writer Patricia Yollin.
“The lawsuit goes into more detail,” Yollin added. “One
example: ‘In at least two incidents in mid-to-late June 2004,
Patterson intensely pressured Keller to expose herself to Koko while
they were working outside where other employees could potentially
view Keller’s naked body.'”

The suit alleges that Patterson said on one occasion, “Koko,
you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my
nipples. You need to see new nipples. I will turn my back so Kendra
can show you her nipples.”
Todd Roberts, a partner in the law firm that represents the
Gorilla Foundation, told Yollin that, “Based on our review of the
factual allegations and characterizations in the complaint, we deny
those allegations.”
Continued Yollin, “The suit says the two women, who never
did undress, also worked unpaid overtime and faced unsanitary
conditions, including gorilla urine stored in the refrigerator where
they kept their lunches, rodents in the food preparation area, and
exposed wires. They notified the California Department of Industrial
Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which
conducted an inspection last August 5 and issued $300 in fines for
violations that have since been corrected. The two women were fired
August 6.”
Alperin had worked at the Gorilla Foundation for three
months; Keller for four months.

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