PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WKRG) — One of the largest employers on the Gulf Coast is being sued for ignoring sexual harassment allegations in the workplace.
Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding along with NSC Technologies are the ones being sued. The 12-page lawsuit filed in Alabama by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lists the allegations.
CONTENT WARNING: Some details of this story may be disturbing.
Severe, ongoing, and pervasive — that’s how the lawsuit describes the alleged abuse that took place from September 2017 to May 2018. The lawsuit claims a supervisor of an Ingalls Shipbuilding project to build a Coast Guard ship harassed members of the cleaning crew, staffed by NSC Technologies. The lawsuit does not indicate how many women were harassed. Two women filed the suit, and they say others were also mistreated.
The harassment laid out in the lawsuit says the supervisor made unwelcome sexual comments, groped them, exposed himself, masturbated in front of them, and forced sexual relations with one woman. The document says the supervisor told the women their jobs depended on them having sex with him or they could be promoted if they did.
One woman, after refusing sexual relations with the supervisor, was fired, according to the document. The lawsuit claims the women told their NSC Technologies recruiter about the abuse, and in response, the recruiter told the women there was nothing she could do and emphasized the women should not do anything to cause NSC Technologies to lose its contract with Ingalls Shipbuilding. Also within the document, one supervisor told them, “Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to keep your job.”
According to the lawsuit, seven months after the first harassment allegation, the Ingalls Shipbuilding supervisor was still allowed to work with female employees and the alleged harassment continued. The lawsuit claims he even threatened one woman’s life, telling her, “If I lose my job ***** you’re going to lose your life.”
Also, in April 2018, the document says a second woman was fired after she refused sexual relations with the supervisor. The lawsuit says she reported this to an NSC Technologies branch manager, who took no action.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the lawsuit after the agency was unable to reach an acceptable agreement with the companies to remedy the unlawful practices. Neither NSC Technologies nor Ingalls Shipbuilding has responded to WKRG News 5’s requests for comment. The EEOC is now demanding a jury trial.