Former FBI agent settles sex discrimination case

The Associated Press
Wednesday October 25, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO — A 20-year former FBI agent settled her sex discrimination claims against the government Tuesday in a case setting new precedent. 

Agent Kathleen Anderson claimed she was subjected to sexual taunts and ridicule by co-workers and supervisors over many years, denied equal job treatment and was punished when she complained. 

She settled for $150,000 plus undetermined costs and legal fees. The most Anderson could have reaped was $300,000 under federal anti-discrimination laws. The government admitted no wrongdoing. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker had ruled that he could not consider most of her claims of abuse dating back to 1986 because she failed to complain to a government equal-employment counselor within 45 days. 

According to her suit, between 1986 and 1990 her supervisor called her “gorgeous,” “the good little girl” and “the office sex goddess” and whistled at her. When she entered a room in 1987 to conduct a briefing, she saw an easel with a drawing of a pair of breasts and the words “Operation Cupcake.” 

Anderson also said she was passed over for promotions, excluded from critical meetings and denied backup agents who were provided to men. She said she was assigned to a dead-end job after filing her first complaint, and was transferred from a desirable case in retaliation for filing her suit in 1997.