Florida woman sues Navy secretary for ‘unequal conditions’ after sexual harassment claim

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ORLANDO, Fla. — An Orlando woman has sued a top U.S. Navy official, alleging that inaction on sexual harassment allegations fostered a workplace that “permeated with unequal conditions for women, particularly assertive women in leadership positions.”

Gloria Tuck, who filed the lawsuit in an Orlando federal court, says U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly should have known about the harassment and, once discovered, should have reprimanded the accused supervisor.

Instead, she claims in the lawsuit, she faced repercussions in the workplace because of Modly’s failure to address the allegations.

The investigation for the administrative complaint, which was filed in 2014, ended this past December with an undisclosed action shared with Tuck in early January.

That ruling opened a 90-day window during which she could file a follow-up lawsuit, which she did Monday.

Tuck, a supervisory logistics management specialist in the U.S. Navy’s Orlando field office, was the assistant program manager for logistics in the Marine Corps Systems Command.

The lawsuit claimed Daniel Torgler, who oversaw Tuck as a supervisory program manager of its civilian workforce, made repeated sexual advances toward Tuck, including unwanted physical contact while in his office and at department social functions.

The lawsuit also says “Mr. Torgler smacked her on her behind while she was walking down a hallway in 2010 or 2011.”

After Tuck filed a complaint with human resources, she was reassigned temporarily until Torgler was placed on administrative leave, according to the lawsuit.

The filing claims that Torgler’s friendship with his supervisor helped him escape punishment.

The lawsuit outlined an environment in the male-dominated office that was hostile toward women, with men constantly ogling female counterparts.

Tuck says she received negative performance reviews in retaliation after filing her complaint.

She has asked for a trial by jury and hopes to recover lost wages, back pay and compensatory damages caused by emotional distress, along with attorney’s fees.

Tuck’s attorney Archibald J. Thomas said he was confident in her chances of winning the lawsuit.

“We have no reason to believe any of those people are not being truthful about the events,” he said.

Representatives for the U.S. Navy did not return requests for comment.


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