Mr. Larry Marder,
My name is Tobe Johnson and I am an attorney who represents Ms. Cheyenne Allott who as you know was an employee of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund until September 8th, 2010. Up until she resigned she had been a valuable employee committed to the fund traveling frequently, often working 15-hour days and working for over a month without a day off. Cheyenne resigned because her workplace environment became intolerable no reasonable person would be expected to continue employment in her situation and therefore we believe that she is not obliged to repay the $5,000 relocation stipend.
Cheyenne began working for The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in March of 2010.
In April of 2009 she met her future boss at a comic book convention in Portland.
During that time they went out for drinks a few times and on one occasion Charles commented that he thought Cheyenne was, “very beautiful”. Although this made her feel slightly uncomfortable she really didn’t think anything of it because for one Charles had too much to drink and did not make sexual advances towards her at that time.
Shortly after the convention in Portland Charles posted a job opening on Facebook in November and sent Cheyenne a personal message stating that she would be a strong candidate for the Development position. Seven days after her start date Charles took her out of town to a convention where he insisted that they share a hotel room. Cheyenne was extremely uncomfortable with this situation. That evening to make matters worse Charles came back to the room quite intoxicated.
At the second convention Charles mislead Cheyenne to believe that she was to be sharing a room with Brady Bonney, a male coworker. When they got to the hotel, she learned that she would be sharing the room with Charles and Charles’s girlfriend in a switch made without Cheyenne’s consultation. Needless to say she thought this was not appropriate and was very uncomfortable. After the convention she told Charles that she was uncomfortable with the situation. After that Charles became progressively abusive towards Cheyenne.
He became so abusive that it was very difficult for her to do her job. In order to perform her job she had to get a lot of the information from Charles. Upon asked a question, Charles would respond with ire, annoyance and aggression. Charles’ attitude repeatedly left Cheyenne feeling like a bad employee for having to ask for contact information, procedure or preparation that only Charles knew. If she made an attempt to solve the problem on her own, she was reprimanded for not consulting Charles. There was no situation in which Charles was pleased with Cheyenne’s performance, when Cheyenne has a steady history of being a highly skilled and valued employee.
During this period she worked nearly 40 days in a row with very few breaks. As a result of standing on her feet for 15 hours at a time she sustained a stress fracture to her foot. Due to stress and her injury she also lost over 30 pounds and her hair began to fall out. To make matters worse she was eligible for the health plan and she was told that by Charles that worker’s compensation was not an option because The Fund did not have worker’s compensation insurance.
Cheyenne spoke to Charles and advised him to get counseling for his SDCC and he did not go. She also communicated with a member of the board in July that Charles needed to have anger management counseling due to his abusive and explosive behavior. To her knowledge the Charles never went to anger management and he certainly did not change his behavior until after Cheyenne gave her resignation.
PARAGRAPH REDACTED DUE TO CONCERNS REGARDING A COWORKER'S PRIVACY.
After Cheyenne gave her two week’s notice things got a little better for her as far as the treatment for Charles was concerned but it was too little too late. On the final day of her employment Charles tried to force her to sign a promissory note in the amount of $5,000. What I find most disturbing about this situation is that we have a man with a history of sexual misconduct who is taking advantage of a younger woman who is economically vulnerable. It appears that Charles was preying on a young woman who was far from home with no support system in place in New York.
Given the circumstances it is appropriate to forgive the $5,000 stipend. We respectfully request a written letter from you on behalf of the Board forgiving the debt Charles claims is owed by my client. Also being that she is a young professional who is still seeking career opportunities we would like a designated person on the board that she may use as a reference. We wish all the luck to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in their future endeavors,