A woman who worked as a screener for several years with the Transportation Security Administration says she was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation while on the job. She's filed a lawsuit in federal court against U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
The woman began working for the TSA in 2002 at the Tri-State Regional Airport near Kenova, West Virginia. According to the West Virginia Record, the woman says she was harassed by multiple co-workers soon after starting her job.
Her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was apparently dismissed, but she says things improved for a time after that. She claims in her lawsuit that her new supervisor in 2005 began to sexually harass her, and it escalated into obsession.
The supervisor allegedly made sexually suggestive remarks to her; started rumors about them, implying they were a couple; became angry when she did not return his off-duty calls; called her into one-on-one meetings during which he asked about her dating life; and would go to the airport early in the morning to watch her when she got off her shift.
The worker also says she received a verbal warning from her supervisor's boss for not taking his calls. Her supervisor was ultimately removed as her manager, but she says the woman who replaced him kept writing her up in an effort to have her terminated.
After seeing a psychologist, the woman says she was granted leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, but was terminated in July 2007, before she was set to return. She says that taking a stand against authority and complaining about the harassment led to her firing.
Source: West Virginia Record, "Taking a stand led to firing, former TSA screener says," Lawrence Smith, Nov. 4, 2011