A former employee is suing Greyhound for sexual harassment, retaliation, negligent supervision, and infliction of emotional distress after being sexually assaulted by her boss.
Jasmine Wheeler claims that her boss at the time, Samuel Blackwell, started sexually harassing her two days after she was hired. She refused Blackwell’s unwanted advances, complained to Greyhound’s HR vice president, Kelly Storm, and told Storm that he was trying to coerce Wheeler to go with him to a private company dorm room and to “give him a little” in exchange for increasing her hours. According to the complaint, Blackwell told Wheeler “that he would fire her if she refused to go with him to the dorm room.”
Wheeler again called Storm to complain about this latest harassment, and Storm allegedly told Wheeler to go along with her boss’s request to accompany him to a company dorm room so that Storm could catch Blackwell in the act of harassing Wheeler. According to the complaint, Storm said “that she would come immediately to the Richmond terminal and surprise them, as she had a key. By giving plaintiff this instruction, Storm was hoping to catch Blackwell in the act of assaulting the plaintiff.”
Storm’s plan apparently did not proceed as planned. The complaint states that:
“Pursuant to Storm’s instruction, plaintiff accompanied Blackwell to the dorm room. While in the room, Blackwell sexually assaulted plaintiff by ripping off her shirt, touching her body, and throwing her onto the bed. Blackwell further unzipped his pants, which put plaintiff in fear that Blackwell would rape her.”
“Storm was unable to open the door, which Blackwell had locked with a deadbolt. Storm knocked on the door, and Blackwell covered plaintiff’s mouth with his hand, to keep her from screaming. Eventually, plaintiff was able to resist Blackwell and open the door. When plaintiff opened the door, Storm saw that plaintiff’s shirt was ripped open, and Blackwell’s pants were unzipped. Storm instructed plaintiff to go home, and said that she would call her.”
Though Blackwell was fired after this incident, Wheeler claims that he “kept calling the terminal to see if plaintiff still worked there.” Surprisingly, eight months after being assaulted by Blackwell, Greyhound fired Wheeler without telling her why she was being terminated.