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JFK security guard 'forced to watch coworkers having sex'

  • LaDonna Powell said she was repeatedly harassed by her boss while working as a security guard for Allied Universal Security Services at JFK 
  • She said her boss told her that to advance she would have to have sex with him
  • If she did not, the 32-year-old said she would be tormented while at work 
  • Part of that torment included being forced to watch other co-workers have sex
  • She said she was also given more difficult shifts with no bathroom breaks, and that her bosses used the N-word around her
  • Powell has filed a lawsuit against the company and is seeking unknown damages 

By Abigail Miller For Dailymail.com

Published: 20:53 EDT, 12 October 2017 | Updated: 00:52 EDT, 13 October 2017

A former security guard has said she was forced to watch co-workers have sex and consistently sexually harassed because she refused to have intercourse with her boss, a new lawsuit claims.

LaDonna Powell said that because she refused to have sex with her supervisor, she was tormented throughout her time working for Allied Universal Security Services at John F Kennedy Airport in New York.

The 32-year-old said that when she started working there she was 'presented with a choice: have sex with male supervisors and get ahead, or refuse and be relentlessly harassed and retaliated against,' the Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit alleges.  

Powell, who worked there from 2012 to 2016, said that part of the torment included being forced to stand and watch while her other co-workers had sex, according to the New York Daily News. 

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LaDonna Powell, pictured, has said in a new lawsuit that she was forced to watch co-workers have sex and consistently sexually harassed because she refused to have intercourse with her boss
LaDonna Powell, pictured, has said in a new lawsuit that she was forced to watch co-workers have sex and consistently sexually harassed because she refused to have intercourse with her boss

LaDonna Powell, pictured, has said in a new lawsuit that she was forced to watch co-workers have sex and consistently sexually harassed because she refused to have intercourse with her boss

Powell worked for Allied Universal Security Services at John F Kennedy Airport in New York from 2012 to 2016, during which time she said she was regularly sexually harassed (stock image of JFK)
Powell worked for Allied Universal Security Services at John F Kennedy Airport in New York from 2012 to 2016, during which time she said she was regularly sexually harassed (stock image of JFK)

Powell worked for Allied Universal Security Services at John F Kennedy Airport in New York from 2012 to 2016, during which time she said she was regularly sexually harassed (stock image of JFK)

She also alleges that she was 'present while her supervisors watched videos of female security guards performing oral sex on male supervisors.' 

Those supervisors, she said, would regularly ask about her sexual prowess, according to court documents. 

During the viewing of one video her boss allegedly asked her 'Do you know how to give head like that?' And another boss said the footage made his 'toes curl' because he was 'so turned on.'  

In one particularly harrowing incident - Powell said she was called into her supervisor's office in 2014 and asked 'How much further do you want to go,' referring to upward mobility in her career.

She said he told her: 'there are things you can do to get you where you want to go,' clearly implying sex could be trade for career advancement.

A Port Authority supervisor was present during the meeting, she alleges. Port Authority contracts with allied to provide security at the New York City airport. 

In another incident Powell recalled the same Allied supervisor telling her: 'Since everybody already thinks we had sex, let's bend you over the table.' 

That same boss also regularly 'brushed up' against her when walking by and 'made unnecessary contact with her.' 

Powell said she tried to report the harassment to supervisors, but said her complaints 'fell on deaf ears.' 

She said she also attempted to report an allegation that a female colleague of hers was raped by two of their co-workers following a work event. 

During the viewing of one video her boss allegedly asked her 'Do you know how to give head like that?' And another boss said the footage made his 'toes curl' because he was 'so turned on.' She said she tried to complain to supervisors about the treatment multiple times but was ignored
During the viewing of one video her boss allegedly asked her 'Do you know how to give head like that?' And another boss said the footage made his 'toes curl' because he was 'so turned on.' She said she tried to complain to supervisors about the treatment multiple times but was ignored

During the viewing of one video her boss allegedly asked her 'Do you know how to give head like that?' And another boss said the footage made his 'toes curl' because he was 'so turned on.' She said she tried to complain to supervisors about the treatment multiple times but was ignored

A former colleague Marsha-Nique Irving, pictured, said that she experienced the same thing, and that women who gave into sexual pressure were given easier shift patterns with more frequent breaks
A former colleague Marsha-Nique Irving, pictured, said that she experienced the same thing, and that women who gave into sexual pressure were given easier shift patterns with more frequent breaks

A former colleague Marsha-Nique Irving, pictured, said that she experienced the same thing, and that women who gave into sexual pressure were given easier shift patterns with more frequent breaks

Neither woman complied with their bosses desires, and were therefore put on remote posts with no time to use the restroom. Irving is pictured during an interview with NBC 4
Neither woman complied with their bosses desires, and were therefore put on remote posts with no time to use the restroom. Irving is pictured during an interview with NBC 4

Neither woman complied with their bosses desires, and were therefore put on remote posts with no time to use the restroom. Irving is pictured during an interview with NBC 4

Powell, who is black, also claims her white bosses regularly used the N-word in the office and while she was around.

During shifts she said on multiple occasions she wasn't allowed to take a break for a meal or to go to the bathroom.

It often got to the point where 'she had to urinate in a cup in the middle of her shift.' 

A former colleague Marsha-Nique Irving, said she experienced the same thing, and that women who gave into sexual pressure were given easier shift patterns with more frequent breaks.

Neither woman complied with their bosses desires, and were therefore put on remote posts with no time to use the restroom.

When Powell was eventually given hiring power, she said supervisors told her to only hire 'cute girls' and 'no fat women' according to the New York Post. She said male supervisors cared more about hiring attractive women than hiring qualified women - putting travelers and the airport at risk.  

She said she made multiple formal complaints to Allied, to her supervisors, and to Port Authority about the racial and sex harassment and discrimination during her time working. 

She said she believes she was fired in May 2016 in revenge for these complaints, but admits that she wish she'd quit much earlier. Powell is now gathering other witnesses and seeking damages for the way she was treated during her time there.

Powell referred to JFK and Allied as 'toxic,' and said the ill treatment 'started from the top.'  

'We have just received the lawsuit and are reviewing it,' Allied told the Daily News in a statement.

'Per policy we do not comment publicly on pending litigation.' 

Port Authority has not commented publicly on the suit. They told the Daily News the matter has been referred to the agency's inspector general.

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