A Newport News, Virginia welder for Skanska USA Building, Inc. was sexually harassed by her high-level supervisor—then abruptly fired when she refused to entertain his advances – according to recently filed EEOC Charge.

Nakeya Livermon worked as a welder for Skanska, where she participated in building infrastructure for the Portsmouth waterside. Livermon was the only female welder on site. She was known to be an excellent welder, in an industry that has few female welders at all.

As her foreman noted:



Skanska featured Livermon in its promotional materials, making her a spotlight during Women in Construction Week

It named her an employee of the month. It even threw a cook-out to honor Livermon and a few other female employees. Although Skanska touted Livermon and used her to make itself look good for a having diversity in its ranks of workers, it failed to protect Livermon from sexual harassment by her boss.

Ms. Livermon filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is a prerequisite to being able to file a lawsuit in federal court.

As she alleges in her Charge of Discrimination, for over five months, beginning in or around February 2023, Ms. Livermon’s Superintendent sexually harassed her; he engaged in offensive sexual remarks, innuendoes, and come-ons regularly, about twice a week. For example, the Superintendent called Ms. Livermon over to him, only to reveal that he didn’t need anything from her, and to tell her “I just wanted to watch you walk away.” He stared and winked at her frequently while he passed by her job site, and watched her rear end when she was bent over performing her work. On another occasion, while eating a bag of chips, he taunted her by asking “if I give you these chips, what are you going to do for me?” As alleged in her Charge, these are just a few examples of the types of regular offensive comments he made. The Superintendent made even more explicit remarks to Ms. Livermon’s male coworkers about her, such as talking about how “thick” her body was, and sexual acts he wanted to do to her. Ms. Livermon complained to her Foreman, who was sympathetic to how uncomfortable the harassment made her, but the harassment nonetheless continued.

Her Charge details how, after months of escalating harassment, Ms. Livermon fully stopped speaking to the Superintendent in June 2023 to escape his offensive remarks and come-ons, which made him angry. Within only a couple of weeks, Ms. Livermon had car problems, and consequently missed several days of work. She provided daily updates to Skanska’s office throughout this time, as well as updating her Foreman on the need for the absences, all in compliance with Skanska’s internal policies. She even texted her Foreman that she was reaching out to him, while he was on vacation, instead of her Superintendent, because she did not want her Superintendent having her cell phone number.


Her Foreman did not ask her why not, because he knew why she did not want him having her cell number. Even though she was in regular contact with the office and her Foreman explaining her car issues, on the day Ms. Livermon returned to work, the harassing Superintendent called her over and fired her on the spot on the pretense of her absences—blatant retaliation for her refusal to submit to his come-ons, she alleges in her Charge. Skanska had never written her up for absences and did not follow its own progressive discipline policy.

Skanska is liable for the sexual harassment Ms. Livermon experienced because her Superintendent, who had the authority to discipline her was the one who harassed her, and the harassment actually resulted in her firing, as set forth in her Charge.

The sexual harassment and firing caused Ms. Livermon to suffer terrible anxiety—robbing her of sleep, leaving her heart racing and her mind ruminating over the harassment, and changing her from the happy and optimistic person she had been to one who struggled to focus and felt she was just hanging on. She fears ever returning to a work environment where she could be treated like she was at Skanska.

Ms. Livermon is not alone in experiencing discrimination or harassment as a welder. This Firm has previously represented a class of women fighting sex discrimination in the trades.

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