On June 12, 2015 a federal jury awarded $325,000 to Augustina Balu, a NYPD transit cop who claims that she was sexually harassed by her boss and then retaliated against after having rejected his sexual advances.
The jury rejected Balu’s retaliation claim but agreed that she had been subjected to a sexually hostile work environment.
Balu alleges that Lt. Denis McAuliffe forcibly tried to kiss her and fondle her breasts. According to Balu, McAuliffe tried to kiss her in his car after offering to give her a ride from a work party. In sworn testimony, Balu said, “I am pulling away and I tell him that I am going to get sick. He tells me, ‘Not in my car,’ so I open the door, I throw up. He takes out a mint from his car, puts it in my mouth and starts kissing me again.”
Balu claims that McAuliffe made comments about her “granny panties” and suggested that they go shopping for sexy lingerie. According to Balu, “[McAuliffe] would hover around my work station and he would always know what color underwear I had on…and he would just call out a color as he was walking around the chair or as he was walking away from the desk. There was one particular time that he was excited that our color underwear matched and he felt he had to pull his pants down in the office and show me the color of his (light blue) underwear.”