A worker at AIG insurance company says she was subjected to male colleagues crawling under women’s desks to look up their skirts, licking them, and a ‘never-ending stream of harassment.’
Marlee Valenti, 34, of Manhattan, was a rising star in the company who had been promoted within a year to senior underwriter and had won numerous company awards after starting at the company in 2009.
But that all changed in 2012 when she was transferred to a department known as the ‘the boys’ club,’ says her lawsuit, according to the New York Daily News.
Under supervisor Michael Donnelly, who ran the ‘boys’ club’ Public Management Liability Commercial Lines Division, where only 10 per cent of employees were women, and who is now vice president of the company, Valenti says things took a turn for the surreal.
The lawsuit says ‘on multiple occasions, male employees would sneak under the desks of female employees in order to look up their skirts.
Valenti witnessed multiple instances of this occurring and heard about several more from female colleagues in her division.’
Valenti said she was ‘groped, licked or forced to endure other forms of harassment,’ according to the New York Post. She said she was ‘truly shocked’ by the alleged behavior she witnessed.
She said her supervisor, Donnelly, would participate in such alleged behavior, so there was no one to report it to. He is also listed in the lawsuit.
Then she said she began to be subjected to ‘disdain’ from Donnelly.
Despite having been at the company for three years and considered a good employee, by September 2013, she said she was given a performance review with ‘warnings’ about issues that were ‘false’ or were for things the male employees didn’t get warnings about.
She said her biggest account was taken from her, and then she began to get ignored.
By December, when she said she learned her colleagues were speaking ‘negatively’ about her to others in the industry, she submitted a 150-page response with ‘evidence’ of her harassment.
AIG investigated and found no wrongdoing. Then she was fired.
The company said it is ‘is committed to providing a workplace that is free from sexual harassment. However, we believe this suit and the claims it makes are without merit, and we will defend the matter vigorously.’