A 72-year-old Dodger usher is suing the team and her boss, alleging she suffered a backlash for complaining about alleged sexual harassment by her boss and that her health has been negatively affected.
Vickie Gutierrez’s Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit names as defendants Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, Los Angeles Dodgers Holding Co. LLC and Shahram Ariane, identified in the complaint as the team’s executive in charge of security for Dodger Stadium and Dodger management.
The suit’s seven causes of action include retaliation, sexual battery, sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, hostile work environment, failure to take preventive and corrective action and violation of the state Business and Professions Code.
The suit filed Monday seeks unspecified damages. A Dodger representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Gutierrez has worked for the Dodgers as an usher “or the equivalent” for the last 35 years, never missed a single day and has an exemplary record, the suit states.
“(Gutierrrez) wants nothing more than to keep her job and for the Dodgers to do the right thing,” the suit states. “The Los Angeles Dodgers, her co-workers, the fans and Dodger Stadium are the most important things in (her) life.”
Gutierrez broke her ankle in 2016 and Ariane offered to go to her home and assist her, the suit states. Gutierrez declined and when she returned to work Ariane assigned her to the centerfield smoking section even though she is a cancer survivor, the suit states.
Gutierrez considered the assignment a demotion in which Ariane intended to punish her and “soften” her for his sexual demands, the suit states.
The plaintiff worked the centerfield assignment wearing a dust mask to avoid inhaling the cigarette smoke, the suit states.
Ariane later assigned Gutierrez to an entrance gate near right field and told her to meet him in his office, where he repeatedly kissed her on the lips and fondled her, the suit alleges.
Ariane also applied sunscreen to Gutierrez as a pretext to sexually touch her, the suit states. She was “terrified” of Ariane because of his powerful position and felt unable to defend herself, according to the suit.
Gutierrez was at her “breaking point” in 2017 and confided in a colleague, who informed Dodger management, the suit states. However, an internal Dodger investigation exonerated Ariane, the suit states. Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Ariane’s subordinates have been “shadowing” Gutierrez at her assignments, the suit states.
The suit alleges Ariane and the Dogers are “diligently fabricating … reasons to terminate plaintiff’s employment in retaliation for (her) complaints about Ariane’s repeated sexual battering of (Gutierrez).”
As a result of the alleges hostile work environment, Gutierrez suffers from high blood pressure, hand tremors, migraines, panic attacks and a constant fear of losing the job she has held for more than three decades, the suit states.
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