A woman who used to be a custodian at Edgewood City Schools has filed a lawsuit against the district, alleging they didn’t do anything to stop the sexual harassment she endured from a co-worker.
According to the lawsuit, the woman started receiving inappropriate text messages in 2017 from fellow custodian Daniel Benjamin. He also made sexual gestures toward her.
When the woman told her supervisor that she didn’t like being around Benjamin because he made her feel uncomfortable, her supervisor said, “He’s just goofing around.” The woman said they never investigated Benjamin and his behavior got worse.
In November 2017, a parent told the woman that Benjamin had been taking taking pictures of a female student on his cell phone and another student witnessed him doing this.
When the student asked Benjamin why he was taking the photos, he allegedly said, “I’m saving it for later.”
The lawsuit states that school officials met with one of the student’s parents, but didn’t take any action because the parents of the student who had pictures taken of her didn’t contact them.
A few months after the complaint, the woman was asked to gather supplies on the other side of the school with Benjamin. She said she told her supervisor many times that she didn’t want to work with him.
According to the lawsuit, Benjamin followed her into the supply closet. As she bent over, he put his hands on her and held her there. He also touched her crotch.
As the woman walked out of the supply closet, she asked, “What do you think you’re doing?” He later sent her a text message that read, “You taste good.”
The woman said she told the district’s human resources department about the closet incident in August 2018, but resigned due to the hostile work environment.
Benjamin is still listed as a custodian on the school’s website and no criminal charges have been filed against him.
The woman seeks a jury trial, back pay and an unspecified amount of compensatory damages.