CLEVELAND (CN) - A disabled rape victim suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder was forced to have sex with her supervisor to keep her job, but was fired anyway after attending her rapist's sentencing hearing, she claims in court.
Meghan Hulec sued J.H. Bennett and Co., Stephen Muellauer and Steven Selmants, in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
J.H. Bennett makes hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical equipment, according to the company website.
Hulec, of Vietnamese descent, is described in the complaint as having "several disabilities ... includ[ing] an intellectual disability associated with a low intelligence quotient, a cognitive deficit, acute depression, severe anxiety and a chronic thyroid disease."
Hulec claims she began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being raped in July 2012, and that her troubles at J.H. Bennett and Co. began shortly thereafter.
She claims that Muellauer and Selmants, two of her supervisors, refused to allow her to take FMLA leave to recover from injuries of the rape, instead forcing her to use up all of her vacation time.
When her vacation time was gone, Hulec was marked absent, and in April 2013, "Muellauer approached Hulec and told her that she was likely to be terminated due to her attendance issues," the complaint states.
"Muellauer then told Hulec she could only save her job if she 'f***ed' him." (Asterisks in complaint.)
The lawsuit states: "Fearful for her job, Hulec complied with Muellauer's demands
"Mellauer immediately exposed himself, and Hulec observed that he had an extremely large penis.
"Muellauer violently forced himself into Hulec, causing Meghan physical injuries and forcing her to re-live the pain and fear she felt when she was raped.
"Hulec cried as Muellauer entered her.
"Muellauer was unable to orgasm as he forcibly had sex with Hulec.
"Because Muellauer was unable to orgasm, Muellauer ordered Hulec to give him oral sex until he ejaculated.
"While Hulec performed oral sex, Muellauer ejaculated on the floor.
"Muellauer ordered Hulec to clean his semen off the floor.
"Muellauer instructed Hulec not to tell anyone about what had happened, or she would be terminated."
The harassment escalated after their first encounter, according to the complaint, which says Muellauer would "order Hulec to flash her breasts at him on a daily basis, ... grab her by the shoulders and force her toward his lap in order to give him oral sex ... [and] regularly make references to Hulec['s] ... national origin while ordering Hulec to masturbate him by hand and telling her to give him a 'happy ending.'"
Hulec also claims she was subjected to constant verbal abuse from another manager, defendant Selmants, who "would regularly use offensive language such as 'nigger,' 'cunt' and 'fat bitches' to describe JHB customers and employees."
The complaint continues: "Hulec would oppose Selmants' offensive and discriminatory conduct by asking him to stop.
"Selmant [sic] retaliated against Hulec by telling her she needed to 'lose weight' and that he 'hates fat people.'"
The abuse culminated in July 2013 when Muellauer and Selmants denied her request to attend her rapist's sentencing hearing, Hulec says.
Hulec claims she was subpoenaed after telling prosecutors her bosses had refused her permission to leave work. After attending the hearing, she was called into an office, where the defendants told her she was being fired "for using her cellular phone in the workplace and for her attendance," the lawsuit states.
Hulec seeks compensatory and punitive damages for FMLA violations, national origin discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
She is represented by Brian Spitz of Euclid, Ohio.
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