77°F
weather icon Clear

Woman alleging abuse at security site sues

A former security guard for the Nevada National Security Site filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against a government security contractor Monday.

The lawsuit against Centerra Group alleges Jennifer Glover, 33, faced sexual harassment and discrimination from the time she was hired in April 2016 until the company’s contract ended in March 2018. The mistreatment escalated into violence during a November 2017 training exercise, when male co-workers struck Glover in the mouth with a rifle, handcuffed her and then groped her breasts, groin and buttocks, the lawsuit alleges.

Standing outside the Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse in downtown Las Vegas, Glover said she hoped to end an entrenched culture of misogyny at the U.S. Department of Energy work site in Nye County.

“These guys, my supposed brothers, they were extremely comfortable with how they treated me,” she said. “So at that point I knew I wasn’t the only one; I was not the first one that this ever happened to.”

Glover was flanked by her two attorneys — Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom and Jay Ellwanger of Texas — and Gus Redding, another security guard at the site, which is in Nye County.

Redding, 44, also filed a lawsuit Monday against the base’s current security contractor, SOC. The employee of more than 20 years claims he faced retaliation — including being placed on administrative leave, having his hours reduced and not being allowed to medically retire — for participating in a human resources investigation into Glover’s complaints.

“The whole time I’ve been there this is by far the worst I’ve seen, as far as women getting treated at the site,” he said.

Ellwanger said the lawsuits will expose that the Florida-based Centerra and Philadelphia-based SOC “contributed to a culture of sexual harassment and retaliation that has permeated the base for many years.”

Centerra’s parent company, Constellis, denied the allegations in Glover’s lawsuit, marketing and communications director Suzanne Piner wrote in an email.

“Centerra appropriately responded to and thoroughly investigated the claims Ms. Glover brought to its attention in January 2018,” Piner wrote.

Frequent harassment

Glover’s lawsuit contains several allegations first detailed in a New York Times story published in January.

A male co-worker exposed his genitals to her during a company carpool to work, the lawsuit alleges. Other men asked her for sex. Pictures of her in a swimsuit and rumors about her sex life spread among the staff.

Glover said Monday that men would pay each other — more than $100 sometimes — to share a shift with her. Managers passed over her for promotions despite her winning awards.

The harassment continued outside the workplace too, Glover said.

“I had to change what gym I went to. I had to change the grocery stores I would go to,” she said.

The New York Times story prompted Nevada U.S. Sens. Jacky Rosen and Catherine Cortez Masto to demand Energy Secretary Rick Perry launch an investigation into the alleged sexual assault, harassment and retaliation at the work site. Cortez Masto’s office confirmed she met with National Nuclear Security Administration administrator Lisa Gordon-Hagerty and general counsel Bruce Diamond on Jan. 31 to discuss the matter.

“Choose to ignore it”

Glover was unable to identify the Centerra employees who sexually assaulted her during the November 2017 training exercise, according to the lawsuit.

Still, she reported the alleged attack to the work site’s human resources department. A three-week investigation took place, but the lawsuit says Centerra never told Glover the names of the employees who assaulted her or whether they were punished.

Glover’s lawsuit says she was assigned to work a 14-hour shift in a tower with a man she believes was one of her attackers. She called out of work to avoid the assignment.

SOC took over the security contract at the work site in March 2018. The company fired Glover that November, days after she told human resources that she was pregnant, according to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint.

Glover is still looking for a new job. The mother of two said she blames not only Centerra, but the Energy Department, for the hostile work environment.

“They know what’s going on at that test site and they just choose to ignore it,” she said.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Pahrump expansion to feature Marriott, retail near racetrack

The planned, five-story hotel just outside the gates of the Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club could be a Marriott-brand hotel. The commercial project could get underway by the end of 2019.

Pahrump Purple Heart Day ceremony honors wounded and fallen

National Purple Heart Day is a day set aside for the remembrance and honoring of the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces who have been injured or lost their lives in service to their country.

Nye County District Attorney’s Report

Editor’s note: The Nye County District Attorney’s Report is provided by the office of DA Chris Arabia. Plans call for it to be provided on a monthly basis as the information becomes available. Duplicate names represent separate cases. See pvtimes.com for a look at recent DA reports.

Smiles Across Pahrump delights community

Smiles Across Pahrump returned to the valley last weekend, bringing grins of delight to the faces of dozens of area children and their families who headed out to enjoy an event filled with free games, activities and prizes, all in honor of the legacy of the late Butch “Patches” Harper.

Nevada Assemblyman Greg Hafen II to seek two more years in seat

Pahrump resident and Nevada District 36 Assemblyman Greg Hafen II announced this week that he will be seeking that seat in the 2020 election for what will be his first-ever official bid for office.

Wildfire tamed near northern Nye community

Firefighters tamed a 650-acre wildfire — believed to have been started Aug. 7 by lightning — near Nye County’s Gabbs community.

Off-highway grant workshop held in Beatty

Folks from Beatty and the surrounding area learned more about the Nevada Off-Highway Vehicle Program in a workshop conducted at the Beatty Community Center Aug. 12.