Bus driver claims sexual harassment in lawsuit against First Student

Kelly Holleran Jul. 5, 2011, 5:56pm

An Alton woman claims she was terrorized at her work and feared returning to her job duties after a male coworker allegedly sexually harassed her.

Kristie Monigan filed a lawsuit June 23 in Madison County Circuit Court against First Student and William Tarrant.

In her complaint, Monigan, a school bus driver, claims Tarrant -- a fellow bus driver -- began sexually harassing her on Feb. 22, 2010, when he told her that she would look good naked wearing only four-inch heels.

Following the remarks, Monigan complained to her supervisors, but saw no disciplinary action taken against Tarrant, according to the complaint. Again, she approached her supervisors, saying the company had expressly stated a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment, but had done nothing to punish Tarrant, the suit states. Still, Tarrant faced no repercussions, the complaint says.

After Monigan's complaints to supervisors, she claims she began to notice Tarrant glaring at her. Soon, the situation got worse, according to the complaint.

"On March 25, 2010, the Plaintiff was on her school bus in the parking lot of the bus depot facility when William Tarrant approached the bus stepping up into the bus area trapping the Plaintiff on the bus and not allowing her to pass or exit the bus," the suit states. "William Tarrant then forcibly grabbed the Plaintiff holding her while the Plaintiff struggled, resisted and yelled at him to let her go."

Upset and shaken by the incident, Monigan reported it to her supervisors and to local police, the complaint says. However, Tarrant remained employed by the school district, according to the complaint.

Monigan then requested that she not be forced to go on any field trips with Tarrant when they would be required to work beyond normal hours. Against Monigan's wishes, her supervisors scheduled one such trip with the two drivers, she claims.

"The Plaintiff has suffered great emotional upset and distress over these events finding working conditions to be extremely difficult experiencing anxiety whenever she sees the male coworker and fear for her personal safety at the workplace," the suit states.

In her four-count complaint, Monigan alleges sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery and negligent retention against the defendants.

She seeks a judgment of more than $200,000, plus punitive damages.

Greg Roosevelt of Roosevelt Law Offices in Edwardsville will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-615.

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