Ever since Anita Hill publicly accused her former boss Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment and he flatly denied the charges, workers' sexual harassment complaints have been common -- and much disputed. Traci Endow, a maintenance worker for the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), however, says that her case isn't ambiguous, accusing her former supervisor of being an egregious sexual predator and management having a "boys-will-be-boys" attitude, citing her managers' words.
In the lawsuit she filed last week, and was first reported on by the Salt Lake City Tribune, she says Brett DeMille began harassing her soon after she began working beside him in 2009. In spring 2011, he became her boss, and the sexual demands allegedly escalated immediately. As Courthouse News reports:
"In spring 2011, defendant DeMille was promoted and became plaintiff's immediate supervisor. Later that same day, defendant DeMille instructed plaintiff to join him in a private, windowless room in the basement. There he exposed [himself] and asked plaintiff, 'What do you think of that?' Plaintiff responded: "I think you should put it away," and she left the room."
Unfazed, DeMille continued to pressure Endow until she gave in, she says.
She admits to having sexual intercourse with him on 16 occasions, according to her lawsuit.The sexual acts often took place at UTA worksites but also on the grounds of the UTA itself. Agreeing to sexual acts does not necessarily preclude a sexual harassment claim, according to legal experts. DeMille, however, has denied that he ever sexually harassed Endow. Endow sued both DeMille and UTA seeking $500,000 in damages. DeMille, for his part, has not spoken to the press. In court documents, he has denied the sexual harassment charges.
UPDATE August 14, 2013 10:20 am: A spokesman for the UTA emailed a statement noting that the UTA investigated her claims. UTA's statement didn't make clear what the results of the investigation were, except that it said the accused "adamantly denies all allegations" and "by policy and practice, there is no tolerance for unlawful or inappropriate behavior, at any level" at the UTA.