"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Archive for July, 2013

SEATTLE – July 25, 2013.  An employee of the Port of Seattle, Cecilia Anitei, has sued the Port for violating her civil rights under federal and state law.  The complaint and summons were served this week.  Mrs. Anitei says, “I truly hope that my story will convince more women to come forward and seek justice in the face of the male-dominated culture and aversion against minorities at the Port.”


Mrs. Anitei was held back in promotions and opportunities due to her gender, disability, national origin, and her filing of complaints with Human Resources.  She says, “I felt humiliated, discouraged, and put down by constant harassment, injustice and statements about the fact that I have young kids.”  Mrs. Anitei’s salary ranks at the bottom of a group of 25 colleagues, rising only above a “College Intern” and an “Archive Systems Administrator,” despite strong performance over 11 years.  The Port refuses to recognize her BS in Engineering because it was awarded by a university in Romania.  She has a Master’s in Engineering but males with fewer qualifications are promoted ahead of her.


She received “outstanding” and “accomplished” evaluations up until she refused to perform an underdock inspection due to her hydrophobia and discomfort with a former supervisor who groped her knees and shoulders and continues to stalk her.  In May 2012, he called her home number and spoke the Romanian word for “penis.”  The Port has refused to move Mrs. Anitei a safe distance away or to a building at SEA-TAC.  “The sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact endured at work caused me to suffer anxiety, intense emotional distress, and humiliation,” says Mrs. Anitei.


A male colleague called her a “hot chick with a funny accent” but was subsequently promoted into management and, now, refuses to provide assignments to her within his division because she complained to Human Resources about his comment.  As a native speaker of Russian and Romanian, she was called a “Russian spy” whose husband is a “KGB agent.”  The Port took no action in response to Mrs. Anitei’s complaints.  She is a mother of two, loving wife, and active member of a local church.


About RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC

Mrs. Anitei is represented by Robert J. Gaudet, Jr. of RJ Gaudet & Associates LLC with offices in Seattle and The Netherlands, telephone (206) 855-6679, email [email protected].  Mr. Gaudet served as co-chair of the American Bar Association SIL International Human Rights Committee and was a member of the Washington State Bar Association Civil Rights Committee.