Ex-Employee Sues WMATA for Wrongful Termination, Harassment

Khadija Able’s suit claims she was sexually harassed by multiple superiors

A former bus driver is taking the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to court, claiming her supervisors harassed her and retaliated when she reported it.

Khadija Able joined WMATA as a bus driver in 2012. For the next three years, she says she endured repeated harassment and was punished when she spoke up about it.

"It really hurts to know that a company that I worked for for seven years, who I stood strong behind, didn’t stand strong behind me when I had, you know, complaints," Able said.

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WMATA says she doesn't have a case.

Able’s suit claims she was sexually harassed by multiple superiors.

In one instance, Able met with a supervisor to discuss a bus accident, according to court documents. The supervisor allegedly told her, "you look like you taste good" and asked her on a date.

Able was written up for the crash after refusing the advance. The reprimand was later overturned, the lawsuit says.

The following year she says another supervisor propositioned her for sex.

Able says she faced retaliation when she denied their advances.

The suit also accuses WMATA of violating Able's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and wrongfully terminating her employment last year.

Able's Lawyer Charles Tucker Attorney says his client isn't alone.

"What we uncovered is that there is a pattern of systemic disparate treatment with women and men at Metro that has been going on for years and its getting worse," Tucker said. "Its high time that it stopped."

News4 reached out to WMATA for a response, but as a matter of policy the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

However, in their legal response, WMATA says none of Able’s claims of sexual harassment were sufficiently severe or pervasive to rise to the level of a retaliatory or hostile work environment. The agency says she was fired for a non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reason.

Able says the treatment was humiliating and has led to anxiety and lost income.

She’s now asking a judge to rule in her favor and award her financial compensation.

Able filed discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission back in 2015. Last year, the agency ruled that it was unable to find any violations.

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