A former aide to Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas filed a civil go well with in opposition to the lawmaker and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), alleging she was fired for threatening authorized motion in opposition to the Foundation relating to a sexual assault.
The criticism alleges Jackson Lee and the CBCF deliberately inflicted emotional misery, unlawfully interfered with contract, and violated the Congressional Accountability Act and Washington, D.C.’s human rights statute. It is the second time lately a former worker sued the congresswoman for her notorious employment practices.
The lawsuit was filed Jan. 11 in Washington’s federal trial courtroom and names each Jackson Lee’s workplace and the Foundation as defendants. The plaintiff, referred to in courtroom filings as “Jane Doe,” is in search of damages.
Neither Jackson Lee nor the CBCF responded to requests for remark.
The plaintiff was allegedly assaulted Oct. 24, 2015 when she was a scholar at Howard University and an intern with the CBCF. By Doe’s telling of occasions, an intern coordinator named Damien Jones plied her with alcohol over dinner in a Washington-area Mexican restaurant earlier than main her again to his house, the place he regularly accosted the plaintiff with alcohol and marijuana.
Text messages point out Doe solicited assist from associates, however was too intoxicated to affirm her location.
Doe claims Jones digitally penetrated her and compelled her to carry out oral intercourse throughout their encounter. She says she awoke the next morning bare, with Jones straddling her physique.
“Ms. Doe at no point consented to Mr. Jones touching her private areas, to performing oral sex or to engage in any other sexual contact, or to him removing her clothes,” the criticism reads.
A rape package was subsequently administered at an area hospital and the Washington Metropolitan Police Department opened a prison probe. A forensic investigation recognized Jones’s DNA on Doe’s breast. Jones’s profile may also match different DNA samples recovered from the plaintiff’s physique, although a definitive willpower can’t be made.
CBCF officers subsequently met with Doe to talk about her allegations. Jones left the Foundation in December 2015 — roughly one month after the alleged assault — and most just lately labored as a Houston-area political director for Beto O’Rourke’s failed Senate bid, in accordance to his LinkedIn profile.
Two years later in 2017, Jackson Lee employed Doe as a particular assistant in her Washington workplace. Doe labored on the congresswoman’s workers for lower than six months earlier than her termination in March 2018. Three weeks prior to her dismissal, Doe advised a senior workers member that she deliberate to transfer ahead with authorized motion in opposition to the CBCF arising from her alleged encounter with Jones and sought a personal session with Jackson Lee to talk about the matter.
At that point, Jackson Lee served as chair of the Foundation.
Doe says she was advised her termination was a operate of budgetary constraints. She believes that rationalization was unfaithful, because the congresswoman employed extra workers and gave raises to others shortly earlier than and instantly after her dismissal. As such, Doe believes her firing was a simple try to head-off her pending lawsuit in opposition to the CBCF.
Jackson Lee’s workplace carries a level of notoriety of Capitol Hill. Data compiled on the congressional employment portal LegiStorm exhibits a 59 % turnover fee on her workers between 2001 and 2017. Washingtonian journal has repeatedly styled Jackson Lee the meanest member of the House. Former aides have described the congresswoman’s habits as derisive and erratic.
Another former aide sued the congresswoman in 2011, alleging Jackson Lee persistently disregarded her ocular incapacity and deliberately cultivated a hostile work setting. That lawsuit was dismissed in 2015.
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