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Mason City florist harassment case dismissed

Mason City florist harassment case dismissed


A sexual harassment lawsuit against an area flower shop has been dismissed.

Baker Floral

Baker Floral, located at 923 Fourth St. SW in Mason City.

Baker Floral LLC, located on Fourth Street Southwest in Mason City, and its owner Nancy Umphress had been named as defendants in a civil suit brought by former employee Victoria Bowyer, according to court documents. 

In the court filings, Bowyer alleged she was barraged with unwanted attention and suggestive comments by her then-co-worker at Baker Floral Gary Briggs, and that her complaints to Umphress went largely unaddressed, with Umphress herself joining in the harassment on at least one occasion.

District Court Judge Colleen Weiland issued a summary judgment in favor of Umphress and her business on Thursday, citing lack of evidence brought forth by the plaintiff.

The judgment indicates that although Bowyer was "rightfully offended and alarmed," the incidents in question did not rise to the definition of harassment. Additionally, it was noted that Bowyer left her job at the flower shop before allowing Umphress enough time to handle the assertions Bowyer brought to her.

Briggs, who was listed alongside Baker Floral and Umphress as a co-defendant, has since died, however, the judge indicated she will clear his name on Jan. 8.

Bowyer has until that date to file an objection to dismissing the counts against Briggs with the court. 

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Lisa Grouette is a Photographer and Reporter for the Globe Gazette. You can reach her at 641-421-0525 or lisa.grouette@globegazette.comFollow Lisa on Twitter @LisaGrouette


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