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In lawsuit, former Rivian worker claims she was sexually harassed and groped on the job

Charging station at Rivian plant
Eric Stock
Rivian now has 6,300 employees in Normal.

A former Rivian worker in Normal has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging she was sexually harassed on the job and that the company did little to address the problem.

The Bloomington woman filed her lawsuit Sept. 6 in federal court. The woman, who worked on the battery team at Rivian for six months earlier this year, claimed that an unnamed engineer groped her in April. The woman also said she subjected to “offensive and derogatory comments by her male coworkers, such as being asked where she liked to have sex, her favorite sexual positions, and being told that a male co-worker was making bets that he could have sex with her,” the lawsuit claimed.

The woman was “was regularly subjected to unwanted sexual advances by her male coworkers, such as pinching her sides, breathing down her neck, and showing her inappropriate pictures and videos on their phone,” the lawsuit alleged.

WGLT does not typically name victims in court cases such as this.

WGLT obtained a copy of the police report the woman filed in April after the alleged incident, through a Freedom of Information Act request. It was heavily redacted but shows the case is closed.

The woman stopped going to work about a week after the alleged groping, the lawsuit said. The woman says she told many others in the company, including those in HR, about the alleged harassment.

Rivian now has 6,300 employees in Normal. In the lawsuit, the woman was not able to provide last names for several of the co-workers who allegedly harassed or groped her or witnessed it.

“Rivian did little to monitor serial harassers, permitting management to simply move harassers or (the woman) around to various work stations, allowing the male harassers to continue harassing (the woman) and other female employees,” the lawsuit alleged.

Rivian issued this statement in response to a WGLT inquiry:

“At Rivian, we expect all our employees to treat each other with dignity and respect and do not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind. Rivian does not comment on active litigation,” the company said.

Rivian faced an earlier lawsuit from a former executive who alleged that she experienced gender discrimination and a “toxic bro culture” during her short tenure with the company. It was filed in November, on the eve of Rivian’s initial public offering.

That case is now closed. That former executive filed a request for dismissal of the case in May.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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