A former bank teller is suing Wells Fargo and the man who managed a San Francisco branch where she worked, alleging that he took the then-20-year-old woman out for drinks, then drugged and raped her in 2018.
The plaintiff had been working for Wells Fargo for about a year when she got promoted and transferred to a branch managed by Antonio Perez.
According to a civil complaint filed in Contra Costa County, Perez allegedly invited her out for drinks on or around June 2, 2018.
Despite her underage status, the lawsuit alleges Perez and another Wells Fargo manager got her into a bar and then a nightclub where Perez bought her drinks and ultimately slipped her the common date rape drug GHB.
She later vomited and lost consciousness, waking up in Perez’s car while he was forcing himself on her, then lost consciousness again and awoke to find that she was being raped in his Pittsburg home, according to the lawsuit. She allegedly said “no,” but was physically unable to resist due to the drugs in her system.
The victim went to a hospital the following day, where a rape kit was administered and doctors verified the presence of GHB in her system. She was also told later by an assistant manager at Wells Fargo that Perez may have drugged and raped at least one other employee prior to her assault, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiff’s attorneys say the rape has had a significant impact on her career. She experienced suicidal ideation afterward, and never wanted to set foot inside the bank again. Her medical care providers also advised her not to return to the job.
When she applied for help through the bank’s disability program, however, she was allegedly told that there was no reason she could not return to the job since Perez had been placed on leave.
The plaintiff’s attorneys have argued that Perez’s actions constituted sexual harassment based on the victim’s sex, and that his conduct was severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
They accuse Wells Fargo of failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the harassment and assault from occurring. They’re also suing for battery, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as legal and court costs and any other relief the court finds to be appropriate.
When asked to comment on the case, Wells Fargo provided a statement indicating that they could not comment due to pending litigation.