News USA

Ex-NYC AIG worker says colleagues groped and licked her

  • Marlee Valenti, 34, said her supervisor and colleagues at AIG insurance would sexually harass her and female colleagues
  • She said she witnessed the men in her division sneaking under the desks so they could look up the women’s skirts
  • She also said the men would grope or lick her and she was subjected to a ‘never-ending stream of harassment’

Marlee Valenti, 34, says she was fired after she complained about a 'never-ending stream of harassment' at AIG

Marlee Valenti, 34, says she was fired after she complained about a ‘never-ending stream of harassment’ at AIG

A worker at AIG insurance company says she was subjected to male colleagues crawling under women’s desks to look up their skirts, licking them, and a ‘never-ending stream of harassment.’

Marlee Valenti, 34, of Manhattan, was a rising star in the company who had been promoted within a year to senior underwriter and had won numerous company awards after starting at the company in 2009.

But that all changed in 2012 when she was transferred to a department known as the ‘the boys’ club,’ says her lawsuit, according to the New York Daily News.

READ ALSO:   Sharing ideas not a crime - Ato Ahwoi

Under supervisor Michael Donnelly, who ran the ‘boys’ club’ Public Management Liability Commercial Lines Division, where only 10 per cent of employees were women, and who is now vice president of the company, Valenti says things took a turn for the surreal.

The lawsuit says ‘on multiple occasions, male employees would sneak under the desks of female employees in order to look up their skirts. Valenti witnessed multiple instances of this occurring and heard about several more from female colleagues in her division.’

Valenti said that under supervisor Michael Donnelly, life became hell, whereas for three years before that, she had thrived at the company

Valenti said that under supervisor Michael Donnelly, life became hell, whereas for three years before that, she had thrived at the company

Valenti said she was ‘groped, licked or forced to endure other forms of harassment,’ according to the New York Post. She said she was ‘truly shocked’ by the alleged behavior she witnessed.

She said her supervisor, Donnelly, would participate in such alleged behavior, so there was no one to report it to. He is also listed in the lawsuit.

READ ALSO:   Why Is Kwadwo Asamoah Refusing To Play For Ghana? – C. K. Akunnor Quizzes
AIG denies the accusations and says 'it is committed to providing a workplace that is free from sexual harassment'

AIG denies the accusations and says ‘it is committed to providing a workplace that is free from sexual harassment’

She filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court and currently works elsewhere 

She filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court and currently works elsewhere

Then she said she began to be subjected to ‘disdain’ from Donnelly. Despite having been at the company for three years and considered a good employee, by September 2013, she said she was given a performance review with ‘warnings’ about issues that were ‘false’ or were for things the male employees didn’t get warnings about.

She said her biggest account was taken from her, and then she began to get ignored.

By December, when she said she learned her  colleagues were speaking ‘negatively’ about her to others in the industry, she submitted a 150-page response with ‘evidence’ of her harassment.

AIG investigated and found no wrongdoing. Then she was fired.

The company said it is ‘is committed to providing a workplace that is free from sexual harassment. However, we believe this suit and the claims it makes are without merit, and we will defend the matter vigorously.’

READ ALSO:   Ministry works towards Affirmative Action Bill

According to her LinkedIn page, Valenti now works with an equity company.

In 2008, AIG was given $85billion by the US Federal Reserve during the bailout. The rescue gave the government a 79.9 per cent stake in the international company.