Women say former Md. Dave and Buster's manager forced them to perform sex acts for better shifts
CAPITOL HEIGHTS, Md. - At least four women say there were forced by a former manager at a DC-area restaurant and bar to perform sex acts in exchange for more hours and better shifts.
Exclusively speaking to FOX 5, at least four women say a former manager at the Capitol Heights Dave and Buster's forced them to give him oral sex and sometimes more in exchange for more hours and better shifts, according to the women and their attorney.
While FOX 5 is not naming the former manager at this time because he has not been charged with a crime, attorney Clarissa Edwards, who represents the women, says at this point law enforcement has not been involved, but she believes some of the behavior is criminal.
Edwards has filed a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, which will determine if there is probable cause to move forward with sex discrimination claim. Edwards tells FOX 5 this is an administrative step before a lawsuit.
"Sexual harassment is an issue and it’s a serious issue and women we have been putting up with it for years and I say no more," Edwards said.
One of her clients, Jahmilla Fisher, says the manager demanded oral sex on a weekly basis until she left her job in May. Fisher says she felt pressured to comply with the sex acts because she was the only one working to support her two children. In one instance, she says, the manager physically forced her into a sex act.
"He basically would force us to perform oral sex or have some kind of stimulation for him in order for benefits, in order for us to keep our jobs or have more stable hours," said Fisher.
Dave & Buster's released the following statement to FOX 5, confirming the allegations had been reported.
“The company strives to maintain an inclusive, family-oriented environment and we take any violation of our code of conduct very seriously. The manager in question has been separated from the company, and we have reached out to the representative for the women so that we can understand their allegations and fully investigate this matter. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time as the matter is ongoing," said Ed Forler, Dave & Busters’ Vice President of Operations.
Edwards says she believes Dave & Buster's knew about the harassment allegations and failed to take immediate action. She seeks to hold both Dave & Buster's and the former manager accountable.
Fisher says she hopes sharing her story will help other victims come forward if they choose.
"I just hope that this can show that we have a voice. That we don’t have to put up with and we’re allowed to tell," said Fisher.
FOX 5 was unable to get in touch with the manager who is accused of harassment to ask about the allegations.