There are many ways for a person to feel as though sexual harassment has taken place. This story out of California pushes the boundaries of sexual harassment into full on allegations of rape, however. According to the news from May 12, two women have now come forward to say that the company they worked for, ABM, told them not to report alleged rapes to the police. One of the women has sued for sexual harassment and retaliation, and she was awarded $812,000.
According to the story, a former Microsoft engineer allegedly raped one of the two immigrant workers working for ABM. She was working as a janitor at the time and cleaning at Microsoft’s Redmond campus at the time of the attack. She said that when she wanted to call police, she first called her supervisor for advice. She claims her managers told her not to report the attack to the police, but instead to report it to them so that they would be able to call for her. In her case, the rape wasn’t reported for two days, which could have eliminated any chance of obtaining evidence.
In the other woman’s case, unfortunately, she reports that management never talked to the police about her rape. She was cleaning the San Francisco Ferry Building when she was raped by a supervisor, according to her story. These two women aren’t alone; the news reports that ABM has been sued at least six times before for sexual harassment within the last seven years. The payouts have totaled close to $7 million.
In a different case, the company was accused of hiring a registered sex offender. That sex offender allegedly went on to rape an employee. The company settled in that case, but it still denies doing anything wrong against these victims.
Source: KiroTV, “Immigrant workers say they were raped, told not to call police” Katie Doptis and Maria Guerrero, May. 12, 2014