The Real Deal New York

Hudson Yards construction workers accuse supervisors of sexual harassment

Subcontractor bosses allegedly exposed themselves to employees
December 15, 2017 03:30PM

Rendering of 55 Hudson Yards (credit: Kohn Pederson Fox)

Two employees of construction subcontractor Trade Off have accused male supervisors and peers of sexual harassment.

Ashley Foster, 27, alleges in a Federal Equal Employment Opportunity complaint that Trade Off’s foreman at 55 Hudson Yards, LaTroy Pollard, repeatedly exposed his genitals to her while they were working on the site, the New York Daily News reported. She said Pollard’s cousin, Albert Thomas, who worked as deputy foreman, sent her an unsolicited picture of his penis.

Foster says she told the company’s vice president of operations about the harassment but never received an update on an investigation into her complaint.

Another employee, Tierra Williams, alleges that Trade Off employees and other contractors working at 520 West 30th Street frequently commented on the physical appearance of female colleagues and indicated that they wanted to have sex with them. She said a supervisor, who is identified only as Tony in the complaint, frequently stared at her “in a menacing manner” especially when she came out of the bathroom. When she asked him to stop, he allegedly replied: “Bitch I do what the fuck I want to. I don’t know who you think you’re talking to. I don’t think you know who I am.”

Williams claims that she was fired shortly after she reported this incident and other harassment.

A spokesperson for Trade Off, Brian Krapf, said Foster remains an employee of the company.

“Trade Off was only recently made aware that an EEOC complaint had been filed against them by Ms. Foster and Ms. Williams, and are currently investigating the allegations,” Krapf said in a statement. “Trade Off has a zero-tolerance policy and takes any charge of sexual harassment very seriously.”

The complaint also names Gilbane and Related Companies, saying that the general contractor and owner failed to “prevent or remedy” the sexual harassment at the Hudson Yards site. Related didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

“Sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable. While none of our employees are accused of wrongdoing, this is a serious matter and we are investigating accordingly,” a Gilbane spokesperson said in a statement. “The safety and well-being of workers is our top priority.” [NYDN] — Kathryn Brenzel