The Whistleblower Law Firm is proud to announce that the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund has approved legal funding for Gloria Tuck’s case.
In her Complaint, Ms. Gloria Tuck stated that she was discriminated against and subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment based on her sex and in part because of her race (African American). Ms.
Tuck is the Assistant Program Manager (APM) for Logistics at PM TRASYS (Program Manager, Training Systems) in Orlando, FL under the Marine Corps Systems Command under the Department of Defense. Mr. Daniel Torgler, was assigned as Deputy Program Manager at the time and was assigned oversight over APMs, like Ms. Tuck. Mr. Torgler exercised functional control as the deciding official over Ms. Tuck’s leave and travel requests and provided input for her performance ratings.
Attorney Natalie Khawam, President of the Whistleblower Law Firm felt like her firm’s assets, including her own personal experiences from sexual harassment, makes this cause both important and necessary. Attorney Khawam said, “The Whistleblower Law Firm is proud to have been granted the necessary legal funds for Ms. Tuck’s case by the Times Up! campaign. We strongly believe in the mission of this amazing organization and we want to do everything in our power to make sure people who perpetuate sexual harassment are held accountable for their actions. The reprisal from reporting sexual harassment, as Ms. Tuck endured at her place of employment, needs to be stopped,” Khawam continued, “We look forward to joining this historical movement.”
In their sworn affidavit, one witness recalls entering Ms. Tuck’s office for advice “in dealing with disrespect, intimidation and work interference I and other female program management team members encountered” from the predominantly male supervisory team.
According to her Complaint, in 2014, Mr. Torgler subjected Ms. Tuck to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and verbal attacks of other males during the course of team meetings.
Specifically, during the week of March 10, 2014, Ms. Tuck alleges that Mr. Torgler ran his finger across the top of Ms. Tuck’s thigh and said, “nice stockings.” That same week, she states that Mr. Torgler swiped his hand across her butt as she was walking down the hallway. During the course of the investigation of Ms. Tuck’s claim, another long-time PM TRASYS employee revealed in a sworn statement that Mr. Torgler had also hit her on the butt in the same way some years before. The following week, Mr. Torgler repeatedly hugged and touched Ms. Tuck while they were together on professional travel, according to her Complaint. Ms. Tuck further states that the following month, Mr. Torgler entered Ms. Tuck’s office and began “looking her over.” He attempted to once again touch her thigh before Ms. Tuck shot him a glare. Apparently, this did not deter Mr. Torgler who, a few months later, again entered Ms. Tuck’s office and leaned over her right shoulder, proceeded to focus his eyes on her cleavage, according to her Complaint.
Several women in the office referred to Mr. Torlger’s “breast stares,” as explained in the statement of one former PM TRASYS employee submitted during the investigation.
In response to her rejection of his ongoing advances, Mr. Torgler allowed a hostile work environment to fester against Ms. Tuck. During separate PM TRASYS team meetings, the two days following the latest incident, Mr. Torgler did not take action to stop the verbal harassment by other team members towards her, as Ms. Tuck details in her Complaint.
Finally, Ms. Tuck had had enough. Despite seeing Mr. Torgler receive little more than a slap on the wrist after physically assaulting an employee, and fully understanding the pitfalls of reporting harassment, she chose to do so anyway.
As one former employee wrote to the investigator, “To complain, well, that was cutting your own throat.”
These incidents illustrate a toxic atmosphere that has left many employees demoralized. While examples of sexual harassment in the Armed Forces has received much of the media attention, it should be no surprise that these harmful workplace cultures exist among the civilian support staff. The evidence of continued retaliation against Ms. Tuck, which forms the basis of her second complaint, is evidence of the entrenched nature of these problems.
By securing TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, Ms. Tuck, with the assistance of the Whistleblower Law Firm, is bringing about institutional change at an agency that historically has, and is now, denying equal access to opportunities for women.