This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A train host is suing the Utah Transit Authority, claiming that her coworkers sexually harassed her and supervisors would not intervene when she complained.
In a lawsuit filed this week in federal court, employee Yuki Giddings alleges that in 2012 and 2013, multiple coworkers made lewd, speculative comments about her sexual orientation, made unwanted physical contact with her and said that she "should be home cooking and taking care of kids, not working" because "that is what women do."
In 2013, the lawsuit states, Giddings visited a coworker in the hospital, where he exposed his genitals to Giddings and kissed her face as she repeatedly asked him to stop. He later claimed she was a lesbian because she refused to date him, the complaint alleges.
Another coworker allegedly told a female FrontRunner passenger to ask Giddings out on a date, claiming Giddings is gay, according to the lawsuit. That coworker also hugged Giddings after she told him not to and grabbed her buttocks, purportedly to help her board a train but causing her to fall, the suit claims.
When Giddings complained to a supervisor, he told her that "sexual harassment is in the eye of the beholder," the complaint states. Another supervisor allegedly told her to overlook the offending coworkers' behavior, and another supervisor walked away from Giddings, saying, "I don't want to hear this."
UTA spokesman Remi Barron said in a written statement: "UTA takes all complaints of harassment seriously and has an Office of Civil Rights dedicated to addressing such claims. We investigate them and take appropriate action when warranted."
The manager of civil rights compliance for UTA found corroboration for Giddings' complaint at the hospital visit and ordered sexual harassment training for the employee, the lawsuit states. The other complaints either weren't investigated or were investigated but not confirmed, Giddings' complaint alleges.
Giddings claims coworkers retaliated against her for reporting the harassment, shutting off air conditioning in her trains and leaving toilets overflowing for her to clean, the suit claims. Giddings also claims human resources workers have prevented her from interviewing for promotions or transfers.
Barron noted that Giddings' attorney is the same attorney representing another female empoyee who is suing UTA on allegations that her supervisor gave her promotions and work opportunities in exchange for sexual favors. That case, filed by maintenance worker Tracy Endow, is on hold while a federal judge awaits word from the Utah Supreme Court as to whether the individual employees sued are liable under the state's anti-discrimination act.
"These are unsubstantiated allegations being made by the same attorney who is suing UTA in another matter, where he also alleged outrageous and unsubstantiated claims," Barron said. "Neither case has resulted in any finding of wrongdoing by UTA or its employees."