PROVIDENCE, R.I. (C.N.) – A radio talk show host claims her boss sexually manhandled her, fired her for resisting, and defamed her so badly she tried to commit suicide. Dania Mateo sued the Davidson Media Group, her former boss Cesar Salas, and other employees of Davidson Media’s Latina 100.3, in Superior Court.
Mateo, who worked the morning show, says the station’s general manager Salas fired her after she refused his sexual advances.
She says she tried suicide after Salas and his underlings conspired to defame her by claiming she had been fired for having sex with her co-host while on the job.
Mateo claims that Salas called her into his office to discuss business, then told her he could “help her career” and “all she needed to do was give in and have sex with him.” She claims Salas then fondled her breasts and buttocks, “causing her to scream and alerting other employees of this sexual harassment.”
Mateo says she was hired in January 2008 to play the morning show role of “Anaconda, a provocative woman [who used] racy language in a flirtatious manner in order to give the impression of being easily seduced … to help increase the ratings of the radio show since it had not been doing well.”
Soon after she was hired, Mateo says, Salas, then-director of sales, started hitting on her. Mateo says she reported Salas’s harassment, which led Davidson Media’s North East Regional Manager, Joseph Rizza, to call a mandatory sexual harassment seminar for all of Latina 100.3’s employees.
But even after the sexual harassment seminar, Mateo says, Salas did not stop his harassment. To retaliate for her refusal to sleep with him, he threatened her job by telling Rizza she “was causing animosity at the radio station due to her past relationship” with her co-host.
Mateo says she and her co-host, Darvin Garcia, had previously been involved, but separated amicably and are both married and worked together without problems.
Mateo claims Davidson Media did nothing to stop Salas’ harassment but promoted him to general manager, making him her and Garcia’s direct boss. She says that eventually, Salas fired both Mateo and Garcia.
After he fired her, Mateo says, Salas conspired with other employees to broadcast falsely that she and Garcia had been fired because they had been caught having sex in the office.
As a direct result of that defamation, Mateo says, she attempted suicide and needed mental health counseling. She says she has been unable to find work in her field.
She seeks punitive damages for a hostile workplace, assault and battery, civil rights violations, quid pro quo sexual harassment, conspiracy, emotional distress, false imprisonment, conspiracy and defamation. She is represented by Robert Caron and Christopher Petrarca.