A woman sanitation inspector filed a lawsuit last Friday accusing two of her male supervisors of sexual harassment.
Nyeshia Wynn, who has worked for the Department of Public Works (DPW) for a year, claims she experienced and continues to experience sexual harassment and a hostile environment at work.
Wynn names supervisors Timothy Cobb and Octavio Aguilar in her lawsuit. She alleges both men made unwanted sexual advances.
On Apr. 28, 2018, Wynn and a personal trainer were present at Eastside Park. Cobb arrived in a municipal vehicle, got out, and spoke to the personal trainer.
When the personal trainer’s back was turned, Cobb allegedly grabbed his private parts and bit his lips in Wynn’s presence.
“Respect all I’m going to say is wow I guess that’s all you have a nice day,” Cobb allegedly texted Wynn after the training session. The lawsuit states the text was a reference to her buttocks.
In another occasion, Cobb allegedly talked about his penis size in front of Wynn.
On Mar. 2019, Cobb allegedly approached her while she was speaking with a colleague and handed her a folded white napkin.
“Here go your panty liner,” Cobb allegedly told her.
In yet another occasion, Wynn was a passenger in Cobb’s municipal vehicle. A friend of Cobb’s approached the vehicle and started speaking to him. During their conversation, the friend claimed to have dated Wynn’s aunt. Cobb’s friend allegedly asked Wynn if she would sleep with him to see if she felt like her aunt, according to the lawsuit.
Cobb later followed up with Wynn. He approached her and said his friend called and wanted to know if she would sleep with him.
In another instance Cobb and Wynn were at a courtroom. He allegedly directed her to look at the private parts of women present in the courtroom.
In Dec. 2018, Wynn attended a work Christmas Party. Aguilar called her after the party to tell her she looked “sexy” in the pictures taken at the party. She alleges in another occasion Aguilar approached her and touched her stomach.
Wynn claims in another instance she was in a meeting with other co-workers when Aguilar touched her shoulder multiple times.
She filed a formal employee complaint against Aguilar. She alleges that invited retaliation from Aguilar.
Wynn claims Aguilar began to stand in front of her or behind her, invading her personal space at work, in an effort to intimidate her. He also allegedly used expletives during conversations with her to scare her, says the lawsuit.
On Aug. 14, 2019, Aguilar allegedly handed Wynn an envelope that contained summonses and money. When she saw the money, she refused to take the envelope, but Aguilar wouldn’t take it back. After protest he took it back, says the suit. She claims the envelope incident was a way to retaliate against her by attempting to make her accept a bribe.
On another occasion Aguilar allegedly told her he would pay her $20 to not issue a summons to his elderly uncle for a parking or sanitation infraction.
Aguilar denied all of Wynn’s allegations on Friday morning. Cobb could not be reached for a response.
In early September, she claims Aguilar threatened to write her up. Her lawsuit does not mention the circumstances surrounding the threat of disciplinary action.
She received a phone call that a disciplinary hearing would be scheduled for Sept. 6, 2019. She was later told the hearing was held without her and she was suspended, according to the lawsuit. She called the city’s Personnel Department. She was told to come to a meeting on Sept. 10. At the meeting she was told she was suspended, she was never given an opportunity to rebut the allegations against her, she claims.
Wynn is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
She is the second woman at public works to claim sexual harassment. Late last year another employee, Tyshona Kennedy, filed a lawsuit accusing her supervisor of sexually harassing her at work.
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