Sheila Kennedy, who worked for Amtrak as an Assistant Conductor from April 2008 until her alleged wrongful termination in July 2012,
Kennedy filed a sexual harassment and retaliation charge with the EEOC on March 16, 2010 and a second discrimination charge on December 16, 2010, and she received a “Notice of Right to Sue” from the EEOC on April 30, 2013.
Kennedy claims that the crew supervisor in 2008-2009, Dwight McClurklin, sexually harassed her by subjecting her to unwanted sexual advances. On a number of occasions, McClurklin asked Kennedy to go with him to a Washington DC “swinger’s” club called Taboo. According to the complaint, McClurklin told Kennedy that his wife wasn’t into this sort of thing and he wanted [Kennedy] to go with him. Kennedy claims that she refused his offer to attend the swinger’s club.
McClurklin allegedly continued to create a sexually hostile work environment for Kennedy during 2009 by making unwanted sexual comments to her about “how ‘long’ his genitals were and how ‘long’ he could last during coitus.”
On July 4, 2009, Kennedy claims that McClurklin groped her buttocks while she was collecting tickets from Amtrak passengers. The next day, Kennedy allegedly confronted McClurklin and told him that his actions were unwanted. Two days later, McClurklin allegedly went on two tirades, yelling at Kennedy in front of passengers and, according to the complaint, “then contacted Amtrak Train Master Randy Starver, and demanded that Kennedy be put out of service. Train Master Randy Starver denied McClurklin’s request.”
On July-August 2009, Kennedy reported the alleged sexual harassment and hostile treatment by McClurklin to several Amtrak supervisors and to her union representative, but McClurklin allegedly continued to create a hostile work environment for her.
On or about August 10, 2009, Amtrak sent Kennedy a letter regarding an investigation into Kennedy’s allegations. According to the complaint, “The letter recognized, in pertinent part, that: ‘The conduct of which you complained indicated that Mr. McClurklin subjected you to unwelcome sexual advances, sexual conduct and retaliation for rejecting his sexual
Despite the company investigation and its letter, Kennedy claims that Amtrak did not take remedial measures to correct McClurklin’s “unlawful conduct”, and Kennedy was forced to continue working with McClurklin.
Amtrak allegedly retaliated against Kennedy after her EEOC complaints by embarking “on a crusade to force out Kennedy and otherwise harm her as a punishment for engaging in protected EEOC activity for reporting McClurklin for sexual harassment.”
[Image: John Pastor]