Latanya Wyatt, of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, has been seeking a jury trial after a federal complaint outlined a history of sexual harassment and abuse by her supervisor at Nissan in Franklin.
Wyatt, an African American woman, began working at Nissan in 2012 as a contractor. By the next year, she was hired as a project manager. However, during her time at Nissan she claimed her supervisor, Walter Mullen, subjected her to a "sexually and racially hostile and abusive working environment."
The misconduct began when Mullen allegedly rubbed her shoulders, arms, and back while she tried to work. The incidents reached a boiling point on September 2, 2015.
The complaint stated Mullen invited Wyatt to lunch, and while on the way, they stopped at a nearby Residence Inn. Mullen then reportedly said he had something to show her in one of the hotel rooms. Once inside the complaint stated Mullen closed the door and forcibly grabbed and rubbed on Wyatt, pulled her close, and said, "I've never had any chocolate before," referring to Wyatt's race.
When she tried to leave, he allegedly put his hand on the door to keep her inside, then pulled down his pants and exposed himself. After the incident, Mullen reportedly told Wyatt that she needed "a friend like him on her team" if she "ever wanted to advance" in the company.
The complaint stated Wyatt did report the incident to HR, but was soon demoted.
We reached out to Nissan for comment and received the following statement:
"Nissan is committed to providing employees with a work environment that is free from all forms of harassment and discrimination, and the company did not and does not tolerate inappropriate behavior in the workplace. When we received Ms. Wyatt’s reports of inappropriate behavior, we promptly launched a comprehensive investigation. We are confident that the company acted swiftly and decisively in accordance with all applicable laws in this matter."