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Friday, June 22, 2012

FBI employee sues Justice, says co-workers were jealous of her looks and Latin singing career

FBI worker Erika Bonilla claims she was harassed by colleagues who were jealous of her looks and professional Latin music singing career

A California-based FBI employee, who once worked for the agency in New Mexico, has a message for her former Albuquerque co-workers: "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."

Erika Bonilla has filed suit against the U.S. Justice Department, claiming she was harassed and discriminated against by fellow FBI employees, who were "jealous of her appearance and Latin singing career."

Bonilla, 38, says the harassment began after she was promoted to an Administrative Specialist in December, 2002, at the Albuquerque FBI field office, ABC News reports.

According to the lawsuit, filed on June 18, Bonilla says her co-workers were angry because they thought another employee deserved the position.

The job entailed "human resources management, language testing, applicant testing and recruiting matters."

Bonilla, who began working for the FBI in 2002, says her co-workers spread malicious gossip about her and even accused her of sleeping with the higher-ups to snag the promotion.

The allegation prompted an investigation by the FBI, in which Bonilla "was inappropriately questioned, in accusatory fashion, whether she had engaged in sexual relations with members of the executive management in exchange for promotion," according to the lawsuit.

But Bonilla says her co-workers simply targeted her "because she is an attractive Hispanic female with a career in Latin music."

According to the lawsuit, the FBI is aware of Bonilla's work as a singer and she often sang at agency events.

Bonilla "kept management informed of the harassment," the suit states, but alleges they did nothing to address the situation.

The professional Latin singer now lives in California, where she pursues her musical career and works at another FBI office.

Monnica Garcia, Bonilla's attorney, told ABC News that Bonilla's performance ratings have remained consistently positive since she began working for the FBI.

Garcia added that Bonilla has suffered "unnecessary stress for years" and "also started having high blood pressure," as a result of the harassment. Her client is requesting unspecified damages and back pay.

The FBI has declined to comment on the ongoing litigation.

1 comment:

  1. Gossip, rumors and general bad mouthing of federal workers who get promoted is very common among coworkers who think they should have gotten the promotion. Alot of delusional people out there who think they are the best employee, yet spend half of the workday gossiping, complaining, and avoiding actual work.