OAKLAND — T-Mobile has denied charges brought by a Waterville woman that she was sexually harassed by a manager at the company’s Oakland call center.

In an answer to a civil rights lawsuit brought against the company in October by Angela Agganis, T-Mobile on Wednesday denied it had engaged in sexual discrimination or sexual harassment, or any other inappropriate conduct, and said Agganis’ suit is “utterly without merit.” While the complaint was filed in October, the summons wasn’t served until Jan. 20.

T-Mobile spokeswoman Annie Garrigan, in an email Friday, pointed to language in the answer in response to a request for comment.

The company said in its response that Agganis failed to take advantage of the “preventative and corrective opportunities” it provided and refused an opportunity to take paid leave while an investigation into her complaint was conducted.

Agganis also “waived her right to assert claims of sexual harassment by failing to come forward in a timely fashion and report any conduct” she believed was in violation of T-Mobile’s policies or the Maine Human Rights Act, the company said, adding that “no reasonable person in (Agganis’) position could have felt compelled to quit work” at T-Mobile.

In her suit, Agganis says that she was subjected to repeated sexual harassment by her supervisor while she worked at the company’s call center in Oakland. Agganis worked for T-Mobile for eight years before leaving in 2014.

She said her supervisor touched her inappropriately and acted in a way that was deliberately sexually motivated. Agganis said she later learned that he had been disciplined and his license to practice psychology in Wisconsin had been revoked for inappropriate relationships with patients.

The harassment got so bad that she suffered a panic attack, and she brought the case to a human resources coordinator, Agganis said.

When she tried to file a claim, she was required to sign a confidentiality agreement and could be disciplined if she did not follow it, according to her complaint. She signed the agreement, then immediately left the company, Agganis said.

But in its answer, filed in federal district court on Wednesday, T-Mobile denies any wrongdoing in the case.

Agganis “was offered an opportunity to take time away from work with pay while her complaint would be investigated, but she refused that offer. Instead, she quit on the same day and at the same time as she first objected to the behavior of her supervisor, who expressly denied such inappropriate conduct happened,” the company said in its answer.

“Indeed, the facts reveal that (Agganis) was not subject to sexual harassment or any other unlawful conduct.”

In the 13-page answer, filed by Richard Moon, an attorney for the Verril Dana firm in Portland, T-Mobile specifically denies Agganis’ charges that her supervisor offered her rides home in his car or touched her inappropriately in violation of the company’s no-touch policy.

The company has no policies that prohibit fraternization between employees and managers and denied that it had any policy that prohibits employees from touching each other, T-Mobile said.

Allison Gray, a civil rights attorney from Augusta law firm Johnson Webbert and Young representing Agganis, did not immediately reply to a voice mail requesting comment.

Agganis’ case was highlighted in a unfair labor practice complaint filed at the National Labor Relations Board by the Communications Workers of America labor union, alleging the company’s confidentiality agreement violated U.S. labor law. In August, a Labor Board judge ruled that T-Mobile had violated labor practices at locations in Oakland and South Carolina and ordered the company to discontinue the practice of using confidentiality agreements in relation to investigations into employee complaints.

Agganis’ experience at the Oakland call center has been used by the Communication Workers of America to demonstrate alleged workplace abuses by T-Mobile as part of a push to unionize workers at the company.

Peter McGuire — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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