FBI employee Erika Bonilla, 38, filed a suit against the U.S. Justice Department on June 18, 2012 for alleged harassment and discrimination from her former FBI co-workers. Bonilla claims in the lawsuit that her fellow employees were “jealous of her appearance and Latin singing career,” and spread salacious rumors and gossip about her in the workplace.
According to Bonilla, the harassment began after she was promoted to Administrative Specialist at the Albuquerque FBI field office in December 2002. Soon after, her co-workers started accusing her of sleeping with the higher-ups in exchange for the promotion – allegations that prompted an investigation by the FBI.
Bonilla’s attorney said that as a result of the slanderous accusations, Bonilla suffered “unnecessary stress for years” and “also started having high blood pressure.” Bonilla is requesting unspecified damages and back pay in the lawsuit.
Earlier this month, a British survey [ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2151169/Sexual-harrassment-time-high-40-women-say-inappropriately-touched-colleagues.html] of more than 3,400 women found that nearly 50 percent of those surveyed have experienced some sort of “gender harassment,” but only one in five women have reported a colleague or boss for sexual harassment or discrimination.
While these numbers are not comforting to say the least, they are also not entirely shocking. Harassment in the workplace can be very common, though rarely reported, and can be grounds for successful discrimination suits.
Read more about Bonilla’s lawsuit here: https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-employee-sues-justice-tells-jealous-coworkers-hate-beautiful-article-1.1100609