Lesa Donnelly - vice president of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees - told The Daily Caller that she has repeatedly contacted the Obama administration to report that the California region of the Forest Service routinely covers up sexual assaults, especially against female firefighters.
will be filing a class action lawsuit in front of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
in March, alleging that the Forest Service
has retaliated against at least 25 women who complained of sexual abuses and harassment.
The women are passed over for promotions and verbally demeaned, she
"By the incidents that have been occurring in the last year and a half of egregious sexual harassment, workplace violence and reprisals, it's clear the agency has failed to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment," said Lesa Donnelly
, a former Forest Service
employee and lead plaintiff in the case.
said the Forest Service
is not investigating complaints about sexual harassment.
In some cases, the service is retaliating against women who make the complaints by denying them training and advancement opportunities, she
"We had no other choice but to file a contempt order against Secretary Veneman to let the secretary - who is at the very top of the chain - know what is going on here," Donnelly said.
My name is Lesa Donnelly
Some of the women currently being discriminated against are the same women who were in Region 5 during Bernardi and Donnelly
and chose to stay.
was a Bernardi and Donnelly
is a Bernardi and Donnelly
/s/ Lesa L. Donnelly
Lesa L. Donnelly
Vice President, USDA Coalition of Minority Employees