A JetBlue employee is suing both the carrier and a co-worker, claiming the airline did nothing after she reported being sexually assaulted in 2019.
JetBlue has declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said it takes allegations of “violent of inappropriate behavior very seriously,” in a statement shared with Fox News.
The woman, identified as Jane Doe in the complaint obtained by WNBC, claims that she and a co-worker, identified as Steven Tenorio, were working a flight to San Francisco in February 2019, and made plans to meet up after work with a couple of other workers.
We work to create a respectful workplace for all our crewmembers where they feel welcome and safe,” the statement said.
According to the lawsuit, Jane Doe and Tenorio worked on a San Francisco-bound flight on Feb. 22, 2019, and they discussed plans to go out for dinner and dancing with other coworkers. The two later met up, grabbed something to eat and were then joined by another colleague, Ronald Banks.
While waiting for Banks at their hotel lobby, Tenorio allegedly sat down and placed his head on Jane Doe’s chest in a sexual manner. She asked, “Why are you laying on my chest?” and Tenorio got up and moved away.
After Banks joined them, the three went out to dinner and another JetBlue employee, Andy Rawlins, joined them back at the hotel lobby. They talked until around 4 a.m. and decided to end the night, according to lawsuit.
When they all got inside the hotel elevator, Tenorio allegedly grabbed Jane Doe from behind and pressed himself tightly against her body and said, in front of other JetBlue employees and hotel guests, “She don’t know she going to my room tonight. We going to have some fun.”
Jane Doe was unable to overpower Tenorio and get away from his grasp and when the elevator stopped at his floor, Tenorio pulled her out of the elevator, picked her up off the ground and walked towards his room, the lawsuit claims.
She managed to get her right hand free and dug her nails into Tenorio’s neck to escape back to her room, according to the lawsuit.
That day, she says she told one of her co-workers about Tenorio’s alleged behavior, leading this person to confront Tenorio, who responded by saying, ‘Oh no, I was just playing with her. Did she think I was trying to rape her?'”
Doe claims she also reported the man’s behavior to her superiors. An investigation was launched, she said, but JetBlue did not terminate Tenorio’s employment, even after allegedly telling her they substantiated the assault. Doe said she was also told she should just try avoiding Tenorio from then on.