Kreindler Representing Sexual Assault Victim Suing Employer
A 20-year-old woman who was raped at work by her supervisor while on a night shift cleaning crew is suing her former employer, ABM Industries Incorporated (ABM). The New York City-based company is reported to be the nation’s largest facility services company, employing more than 140,000 people. Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, along with Atlanta co-counsel Jonathan Johnson, filed a lawsuit on January 10, 2020 in the Supreme Court of the State of New York located in Manhattan.
The incident allegedly occurred on September 18, 2018 while the victim was working for ABM at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The ABM supervisor, who the victim claims overwhelmed and raped her, had previously served a prison sentence for armed robbery. Immediately following the assault, the victim reported it to the police who investigated and arrested the supervisor at the airport. The assailant, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit, is currently incarcerated pending a criminal trial.
This assault is a vivid illustration of the type of conduct that the #MeToo movement is battling to eradicate. Such behavior is intolerable, whether it is from billionaires in the entertainment industry, Wall Street tycoons or corporate giants such as ABM. Our client is one of countless hard-working people who have suffered sexual abuse in the workplace.
The rape occurred only a few months after U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington State sent a letter to the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association expressing her concern about the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. Senator Murray stated in her letter that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had sued ABM repeatedly for mishandling complaints of sexual harassment and assault. The letter noted 42 lawsuits against ABM alleging sexual assault on the job with one such case involving 21 female janitors who had been harassed or assaulted by male supervisors.
There is substantial evidence of a persistent, systemic practice of sexual abuse fostered by the corporate culture of ABM and its executives operating from their headquarters in New York.
The lawsuit, which alleges assault and battery, false imprisonment and numerous other claims, asserts that ABM has a “malicious, wanton and willful disregard for the safety, respect and dignity of its janitorial workers on the night shift, and continued its cold and callous pursuit of profits over people, resulting in ABM’s rape of Plaintiff through its supervisor.” The complaint cites ABM’s “systematic corporate failure to effectuate an effective policy and practice for preventing sexual harassment and abuse, including rape, of janitorial workers.”
Sexual assault and harassment in the workplace must be confronted and employers must be held accountable to provide a safe working environment. Kreindler & Kreindler has handled several cases involving workplace liabilities which include assault and sexual harassment. If you have any questions regarding this case or any related issue, please contact attorney Andrew Maloney or attorney Dan Rose.