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Edgewood workers say bosses demanded sex

Samantha Reyes is among six women who say

Samantha Reyes is among six women who say that some managers demanded sex in exchange for special treatment. (Dec. 16, 2009) Photo Credit: Mario Gonzalez

Six women who worked at a U.S. Postal Service contractor in Edgewood have alleged that some managers inappropriately touched them and demanded sex in exchange for special treatment.

The women, some of whom had worked at Alan Ritchey Inc. for close to 10 years, said they were fired in June 2008 after they wouldn't comply.

They made their allegations Wednesday during a news conference at the offices of Leeds, Morelli and Brown in Mineola, a law firm that has agreed to represent them.

>> VIDEO: Watch footage from Wednesday's news conference, including one woman's explanation of the sexual harrassment

"I came to this country to work, not to have to work in a place where managers and co-workers expected you to have sex with them," said Samantha Reyes, 38, a Salvadoran immigrant, who along with the other women filed a federal complaint in April alleging harassment.

They filed the complaint against the company with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with help from the Workplace Project, a Hempstead immigrant advocacy group. They also have named their union, saying it failed to advocate for their rights.

No lawsuits have been filed. The EEOC has yet to issue its findings in the case.

The company, headquartered in Texas, didn't return repeated phone calls. The Long Island operation is  to close on Dec. 29 for economic reasons, according to a State Labor Department filing. That notice lists 80 employees. Reyes said about 50 women worked at the Long Island site, which inspects and repairs postal equipment.

Kevin Boyle, president of United Professional and Service Employees Local 1222, said the complainants never brought up sexual harassment concerns after they were terminated. "We would have taken them to EEOC or Human Rights [Commission] long ago," he said.

The EEOC typically issues a finding and gives complainants a right-to-sue letter, which allows them to file a Title VII lawsuit in federal court.

>> VIDEO: Watch footage from Wednesday's news conference, including one woman's explanation of the sexual harrassment

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