Learn How the New York Adult Survivor Act May Provide Long-Needed Justice for Privately Employed Flight Attendants
On March 20, 2023, a sexual harassment and sexual assault lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the State of New York against former Lebanon prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri. The lawsuit was filed by two flight attendants employed on his private jets.
According to the lawsuit, Hariri conducted egregious acts of sexual assault and harassment against the women when flying throughout the United States between New York’s JFK airport and several locations.
Read on to learn about the allegations against Saad Hariri and how the New York Adult Survivor’s Act provided the justice and relief sought by these plaintiffs over the years.
What Are the Allegations Against Former Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri?
Two plaintiffs, known as Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, represented by the Derek Smith Law Group filed a claim of sexual assault and sexual harassment against Saad Hariri. According to the lawsuit, Jane Doe 1 began working for Mr. Hariri on his private plane in 2006. During one particular flight from Washington D.C. to New York, Doe 1 claims Mr. Hariri met her in the bathroom, held her up against the wall, and forced his tongue inside her mouth. Doe 1 claims she was able to push him away from her and get out of the bathroom before further sexual assault could occur. After the fact, Doe alleges she discussed the actions with her colleagues, who informed her this behavior was common for Mr. Hariri.
Jane Doe 1 claims these assaults became common on every flight she worked. She claims that on one occasion, on the New York Tarmac, Mr. Hariri wrapped his arm around her from behind and grabbed her vagina while whispering to her that he liked her and would see her again. On other occasions, he purportedly grabbed her from behind in the galley of the plane and attempted to unzip her pants or unbutton her pants. She also claimed he would forcibly grab her waist and breasts on many occasions.
According to the complaint, these were just a few examples of the actions Jane Doe 1 endured from Mr. Hariri. Jane Doe 1 claims she attempted to report the actions of Mr. Hariri to her supervisor and the Saudi Oger’s Board of Directors, however, she was allegedly told to deal with it, or her complaints fell on deaf ears. The incidents allegedly continued, and in 2009, Jane Doe 1 left her position with the company. Furthermore, Jane Doe 1 claims the company prevented her from obtaining gainful employment in the aviation industry.
Jane Doe 2 alleges very similar acts of sexual assault from Mr. Hariri since she began her employment on his stepmother’s aircraft in 2006. After experiencing sexual assault on the first flight, she allegedly asked to not work on his flights moving forward. However, she was allegedly forced to continue working with Mr. Hariri, which led to a forcible rape on one of these flights. Jane Doe 2 claimed to complain to her supervisor about Mr. Hariri’s actions and claimed her complaints were ignored.
In December 2008, Jane Doe 2 was working on a flight in which guests and staff consumed extreme amounts of alcohol and narcotics. Jane Doe 2 was allegedly summoned to Mr. Hariri’s room and raped. She claims he violently raped her without a condom, leaving her terrified she would contract an STD or become pregnant. On another occasion, she claims he forcibly grabbed her by the throat and refused to allow her to leave the flight. She claims she fought for her ability to breathe and began to fear for her life.
In 2010, Jane Doe 2 asked to spend Christmas with her boyfriend. Hours later, she was allegedly terminated from her position with the company. She believes she was terminated out of retaliation for having a boyfriend. She claims that Mr. Hariri and his company purportedly prevented her from finding gainful employment in the aviation industry.
How Does the New York Adult Survivor’s Act Provide Justice for These Victims of Sexual Assault?
The New York Adult Survivor’s Act allows any adult victim of sexual assault to file civil charges against their assailant through November 2023, regardless of when the acts of sexual assault or rape occurred. These women had attempted to file complaints against Mr. Hariri and other members of his company in the past, only to have their claims dismissed for one reason or another.
However, under the New York Adult Survivor’s Act, they have the right to file their claim against Mr. Hariri and others for his alleged crimes in New York. Because several of these actions occurred in New York or during flights over New York, the laws of the state of New York can apply.
As a result, these women have the right to fight against employer sexual assault, even though the assault occurred more than thirteen years in the past. The New York Adult Survivor’s Act provides the opportunity for justice where other laws and actions have failed.
How Can a Qualified Sexual Harassment Lawyer Help You Fight Sexual Assault in the Workplace?
A qualified sexual harassment lawyer can provide insight into legal matters affecting sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape in the workplace. In this instance, the women were not from the United States. Furthermore, the company and Mr. Hariri are not located in the United States and have no business in the United States. However, because these alleged incidents occurred in New York on various occasions, a qualified sexual harassment attorney could advise his clients that they were able to file their claims under New York law. These women may have never known they had this right if they did not have the help of a knowledgeable sexual harassment and sexual assault lawyer.
If you or your loved ones experience sexual assault in the workplace, the dedicated sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group in New York City can help. Call today at 800.807.2209 for a free consultation.