I was hired on June 30th as an assistant to a nonprofit organization by the name of Crossing the Narrow Bridge. I was given the task of writing the content for their website as well as creating the website.
About a week into the project, my boss, the owner of the company, Monti Blumberg, begins asking me for sexual favors and revealing photos through text messages. He coerced me into believing I would lose my job if I spoke up, so the harassment continued. He promised me a stable job, salary, my own office with the ultimatum of being his “assistant”. He made numerous comments about my clothes and even emailed me to tell me that he was looking up my skirt, and that he would like it if I spread my legs more for him to see. I started wearing pants, and I was told that women are not allowed to wear pants, only skirts.
As I was in the elevator on my way out on Tuesday, July 14, my boss slipped into the elevator with his hands in his pocket. The next thing I knew, his hands were on my shoulders and his mouth was on my neck. He touched my breasts and ran his hands across my body. I froze. I couldn’t even tell my boyfriend the same day it happened, and I’m still unable to erase the shame.
It didn’t stop there– he continued to ask me for sexual favors. He repeated to me numerous times that he was firing everyone in the office, that I needed to prove myself to him in order to keep my job. Having worked over 200 hours, I thought I should at least stay until I got paid for my work.
Weeks passed and I finally confronted him about the abuse when he tried to bully me into giving him my password to my web hosting site and I wouldn’t give it to him. I told him that once I was paid for the hours I worked, that I would gladly hand over the completed project. He continued to ask me for sexual photos, telling me that he needed to have “something on me” to know that he could “trust me” while implying that those who don’t do as he asks always lose.
Even after I confronted him, he didn’t stop his behavior. When sitting in front of his desk, he would remove his shoes and try to rub his feet on my legs. When I would move my legs out of the way, his feet would follow and he would continue to touch me. I couldn’t tell him to stop without him questioning why I didn’t accept his advances. He also gave me the ultimatum that if I wanted to keep my job, I would have to provide him with sexual favors, photos, and “elevator rides” once a week.
My boss is now refusing to pay me for the hours I have worked unless I sign a form waiving my right to report his harassment. He is threatening to have me arrested for extortion if I try to speak up about his abuse. He told me that “girls like me” have tried to report him before and that “it didn’t end well for them”. I spoke to his lawyer who told me that if I did not sign the waiver, that he would not only withhold my payment, but have me arrested. His lawyer, Jamen Lachs, has a huge criminal record that includes felonies for violating probation. He is unlicensed to practice law in the state of Florida, but he continues to represent my boss and believes that I am not aware of his history.
I have spoken to Equal Rights Advocates and they have provided me with a list of attorneys– all of which I cannot afford. I’m making this page because I’m hopeless. I originally planned to use the payment for my work in order to hire an attorney but I have not been paid what is owed to me.
I want girls and women to know that they are not alone in experiencing harassment at work and I want them to know that it is NOT OKAY. Allowing this man to get away with his actions is only giving him the freedom to do it again.
I’m using this to collect money toward attorney fees. I refuse to let this man get away with this behavior.
PLEASE HELP ME RAISE MONEY FOR AN ATTORNEY.
Please help her! This is awful!