A former employee at the T-Mobile call center in Oakland has filed a lawsuit against the company in federal court alleging that she was sexually harassed by a supervisor, then told to keep quiet about it when she complained to the human resources department.

Angela Agganis, of Waterville, filed a complaint Oct. 9 in U.S. District Court in Portland, accusing the company of subjecting her to a hostile work environment based on her sex. She is represented by Allison Gray, a civil rights attorney with Johnson, Webbert and Young in Augusta.

Agganis, who had worked for the company for eight years, left T-Mobile in August 2014, shortly after filing a complaint against a male supervisor she said touched her inappropriately on several occasions and made her feel unsafe at work.

Agganis is asking the company to pay lost wages and interest and compensatory damages, and to declare that it violated her civil rights and will cease violating the rights of others in similar situations.

Reached Friday, T-Mobile spokeswoman Bethany Frey declined to comment on the case “due to pending litigation.”

In her complaint, Agganis said she was assigned a new supervisor, or “coach,” in T-Moblie’s corporate lingo, in 2014, when she worked as part of a team of customer service representatives.


During the five months she worked under him, the supervisor touched her several times, including holding her hand to show her how to do things on the computer and massaging her back, in violation of T-Mobile’s clear no-touching policy, Agganis says.

After a few uncomfortable incidents, Agganis became concerned that her supervisor’s actions were “deliberate and sexually motivated,” according to the complaint. She also felt threatened that if she did not let him touch her inappropriately, he would “write her up” and sensed that he was always staring at her in a sexual manner.

“His station in the office was behind hers, and the times when she turned and faced him or his direction, she would see him staring at her from behind,” it says in the complaint.

Daily interactions with her supervisor made her anxious and panicked, and in July 2014, Agganis said, she suffered a panic attack that led to a week and a half medical leave at direction of her primary care physician.

While out of work, Agganis alleges, she learned her supervisor had sexually harassed a female employee when working at a mental health agency in Augusta; and then, in an Internet search, she discovered that he had lost his license to practice psychology in Wisconsin for having inappropriate relationships with patients.

In early August, Agganis reported the harassment to the T-Mobile human resources coordinator Karen Estes, telling her that she thought she was bring sexually harassed and “she felt unsafe” and she viewed her supervisor “as a sexual predator.”


At first, she was told to “stick it out” until a periodic management “realignment” took place, Agganis says.

To file the claim, Agganis says, she had to file a confidentiality agreement, according to company policy, and would be disciplined if she did not follow the terms of the gag order. Agganis signed the agreement, but immediately thereafter left the company because of the harassment, T-Mobile’s failure to provide a safe environment and fear of retaliation from her supervisor, the complaint states.

Late last year, the Communication Workers of America filed an unfair labor practice charge against T-Mobile in relation to the confidentiality agreement; and in August, a judge with the National Labor Relations Board ruled that T-Mobile’s policy requiring the agreements violated U.S. labor laws and required the company to stop the practice.

The CWA union has used Agganis’ experience as evidence of poor labor practices at T-Mobile in an effort to unionize the telecommunications company.

T-Mobile has until early next month to file a response to the complaint.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239


Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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