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New York Athletic Club Employee Blows The Whistle on Racism and Female Harassment

It seems that there has been no order at New York Athletic Club in New York City. Transcripts of one past and one present employee reveal that the Central Park South club was the kind of workplace where employees could expect to be called by the n-word, female employees could expect to be s*xually harassed and treated like dirt.

According to The Post, which obtained the transcripts, some of the male employees say they were subjected to being called the n-word and would also hear members and managers make racially offensive jokes and the club would turn a blind eye to the inappropriate behavior.

Female employees report that they were s*xually harassed and when they complained “investigations” into their claims would be dismissed as “unfounded”. Managers are also reported to have been in the habit of partying and drinking during and after events at the club, with no corrective action from the club owners.

Some of the men who spoke up said that they feared losing their jobs or facing retaliation if they reported the bad behavior that they witnessed.

Keisi Ballenilla sued the club for harassment and the deposition was part of her case proceedings.

According to Ballenilla, from 2004 to 2009, mangers repeatedly harassed her and one manager in particular, Nesim Zuberi, actually requested s*exual favors from her in exchange for her to be assigned work hours.

Elvis Lopez, who has been a security person at the club for the last seven years said,

“[There's]a lot of discrimination with management toward the employees — and club members also, toward employees.”

Lopez described witnessing many occasions when male members would harass female employees and even call some the n-word and the management did not take any action.

Talking about how uncomfortable he felt watching a female employee being harassed and being shown pictures of guys in bikini briefs, Lopez said,

“I’m a married man. I have a grown daughter. This is really bothering me.”

In his sworn testimony, Lopez described telling human resources about the many incidents of abuse and harassment that he saw but he said that his reports fell on deaf ears.

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