SANTA FE – A pornographic drawing in a bathroom stall is at the center of a lawsuit filed last week claiming sex discrimination and retaliation by an Albuquerque electric contractor.
Noelle Cepeda says that DKD Electric LLC fired her last month after she complained about the sketch that apparently was meant to depict her and her supervisor and was drawn on the wall of a bathroom stall at an unspecified work site in Santa Fe County.
The complaint, filed in state District Court in Santa Fe, says that Cepeda knew that the illustration was intended to depict her and her male supervisor because her initials and those of her supervisor were inscribed next to the drawings of each naked body.
The complaint also alleges that when she confronted the supervisor about the drawing, telling him that whoever drew it “had some sick fantasies about us,” the supervisor laughed it off and took no action. It says the supervisor either fired her or laid her off about five weeks later without giving a reason.
In addition, Cepeda — who lives in Santa Fe County — alleges that after she was let go from DKD Electric, the supervisor began soliciting her for sex and to act as an escort for other men. She claims that he told her not to tell her boyfriend and to keep it “just between us.”
The lawsuit alleges that the supervisor fired her in retaliation for her making the complaint about the drawing and to put her in a dire financial situation, “hoping she would have no choice but to have sex with him for money.”
Dee Dennis III, chief executive officer at DKD Electric, would not say whether the man named in the lawsuit was employed at the company. He declined comment about the complaint. The supervisor cited in the complaint is not named as a defendant in the suit.
Cepeda is seeking damages that include past and future compensation, emotional distress and mental anguish, humiliation, and harm to her professional reputation.