Ernst & Young Partner Claims Firm Retaliated Against Her After She Reported Sexual Assault
Jessica Casucci, who’s filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claims three employees sexually assaulted and harassed her.
A partner at Ernst & Young was sexually assaulted and harassed by multiple colleagues at the company, which allegedly ignored the woman’s complaints and then retaliated against her, according to a complaint she filed on Wednesday against the firm.
Jessica Casucci accuses at least three men of inappropriate behavior, including one partner who lifted her up over his shoulder at a restaurant, and groped her breasts and rear end in front of other colleagues, she alleges in the documents submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
While he was allegedly groping her, the partner said, “I’ve wanted to fuck you for so long,” “I know that you want to fuck me,” and that the “sex would be amazing,” according to the complaint, which noted that the man assured her it would be “the best night of [her] life.”
Two other partners witnessed the interaction, while the “terrified, upset, and deeply offended” Casucci tried to pull herself away, the document claims.
Later that night, she allegedly received lewd emails and text messages from him, including one that read: “I can only imagine what would happen if you were knocking on my door—room 8192 in the west elevators—wow—who would be happier in an hour??? I am willing to make a bet on that.”
When she did not respond, the man sent another note, according to the complaint.
“Tried calling,” he allegedly wrote. “[You are] [one] of if not the hottest partner. Oh well. Can’t blame a guy for trying.”
Casucci told at least one other colleague about the incident the next day, and “broke down in tears” before deciding to leave the out-of-town conference early over it, she said.
She also claims that another partner repeatedly asked her “if she was wearing underwear” while she was rehearsing a speech. Yet another senior manager was so pervasive in his allegedly inappropriate behavior toward female colleagues that he earned a nickname based on it, the complaint says.
By the time Casucci “mustered the courage” to report the behavior to the company’s global diversity and inclusiveness officer, Casucci was told she “might not hear anything back in response to her complaint, but that she should ‘trust the firm’ to take the matter seriously,” the complaint claims.
The men mentioned in her report were allegedly “subject to little or no discipline and suffered zero repercussions,” while Casucci was “forced to abandon client relationships, decline work on certain projects and rebuild her entire book of business from scratch,” according to the complaint.
At least seven partners at the firm were aware of the complaint, according to Casucci, and “to date, nothing has been done to remedy the foregoing and [the company] continues to discriminate against [her],” according to the filing. As a result, Casucci’s “career trajectory and earning potential have been adversely impacted.”
Her attorney, Michael Willemin, said in a statement emailed to The Daily Beast that he intends “to send a message that there are consequences for companies who choose to protect male harassers rather than female victims of sexual harassment.”
“Ms. Casucci’s decision to file this complaint and speak up is particularly courageous given that she still works for EY,” he added.
In a statement sent late Wednesday, Ernst & Young said it is “committed to a workplace free of discrimination and harassment of any kind.” A spokesman noted that the “individual who is the subject of the charge has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of our investigation.”
“We take all allegations of sexual harassment seriously,” said the press release. “Once we conclude our investigation, strong disciplinary actions will be taken against anyone we determine to have violated our policies and/or our Code of Conduct.”