Worker Says DHS Tolerates Sexual Predator
HONOLULU (CN) - A Transportation Security Administration claims she was sexually assaulted by a TSA investigator, and when she reported it the federal government forced her to sign a false disavowal and suspended her. She says she is "at least the third woman to report unwelcome sexual advances" from the same man, and that all of his victims were retaliated against with suspension or threats of termination.
Nilda C. Marugame, a TSA at Lihue airport, sued the TSA's governmental parent, the Department of Homeland Security, in Federal Court.
Marugame claims a TSA investigator (TSI) "sexually assaulted her" on Aug. 26, 2009.
Five days later, she says, she "attempted to notify the Assistant Federal Security Director of sexual assaults in the workplace by a Transportation Security Investigator."
On Sept. 4, 2009, she says, "the Assistant Federal Security Director coerced Marugame into signing a typed statement that the Assistant Federal Security Director had previously prepared. The statement described the sexual assaults in the workplace by a Transportation Security Investigator as consensual rather than as unwelcome sexual advances."
She adds: "Marugame was at least the third woman to report unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace by this same Transportation Security Investigator.
"Defendants turned a blind eye to the unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace by this same Transportation Security Investigator and instead blamed and retaliated against the female workers with various suspensions, threats of termination, etc."
Marugame says she was suspended for three days, after being "forced ... to sign a document stating that the TSI did not sexually harass her". She claim her boss suspended her "rather than addressing and disciplining the behavior of a sexual predator in the workplace."
She says the alleged predator "was not subjected to any discipline, while each of his victims were disciplined."
She seeks lost wages and damages for sex discrimination, retaliation and negligence. She is represented by Shawn Luiz.