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  • Writer's pictureKirstin Kennedy

Woman files lawsuit, claims sexual harassment by boss

For immediate release

PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania woman has filed a civil lawsuit after she alleged that she was repeatedly sexually harassed by her employer.

According to a civil complaint filed in the Western District Court of Pennsylvania, Plaintiff Sarah Sparks began working as a cashier at Speedy Kleen Car Wash & Laundromat in May 2019. Prior to beginning her employment at the facility, Ms. Sparks worked as a Machine Operator and was compensated at an hourly rate of $11, according to the complaint. Ms. Sparks alleged that Duane Devecka, the owner of Speedy Kleene Car Wash & Laundromat, recruited her to work for him with the promise that the job would be more comfortable and appealing to her. According to the complaint, she was compensated at a rate of $7.25 per hour as a cashier at the facility.

Throughout her employment for Mr. Devecka, Ms. Sparks began to experience frequent acts of sexual harassment, according to the complaint. She alleged that Mr. Devecka, on several occasions, walked behind her to pat her buttocks. According to the complaint, he also told her that she was “too pretty” to date her current boyfriend and displayed an envious and annoyed demeanor that she was dating someone else. Mr. Devecka regularly called Ms. Sparks “sweetie” and stated that she had a “tight ass,” according to the complaint. Additionally, just prior to her thirtieth birthday, Ms. Sparks alleged that Mr. Devecka acted shocked at her age and stated that she had a “tight ass for a 30-yearold mom.”

On June 4, 2019, according to the complaint, Mr. Devecka inappropriately grabbed and groped Ms. Sparks. She alleged in the filing that he waited until no one other than the two of them were in the building, then groped and sexually harassed her. According to the complaint, on this occasion, Mr. Devecka waited for Ms. Sparks outside of the bathroom, then suddenly grabbed Ms. Sparks by the buttocks and reached around to her groin. He allegedly then slapped and groped her buttocks and her groin with his hand, according to the court filing.

Ms. Sparks alleged that she did not, in any way, welcome or condone Mr. Devecka’s sexual attack. According to the complaint, after she freed herself from Mr. Devecka, she immediately faced him, slapped his arm away, and warned him never to touch her again. Ms. Sparks then hid in the office and called a co-worker for help, according to the report. She alleged that she also called a friend to pick her up from the building. According to the report, her co-worker came into the facility and distracted Mr. Devecka while Ms. Sparks left. She then reported the incident to the Pennsylvania State Police, according to the report.

She stated that she did not return to work after the incident.

In the single-count complaint, Lead Attorney David Manes alleged that Mr. Devecka committed sexual harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Prior to the filing of the lawsuit, Ms. Sparks filed a complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was provided a right to sue.

Both Duane Devecka and Speedy Kleene Car Wash & Laundromat were listed as defendants.

Ruppert Manes Narahari is a Pittsburgh-based employment law firm representing workers who have been wrongfully terminated, harassed, or cheated by their employers. The firm also provides business law-related services and represents small businesses and entrepreneurs in startup, transactional, and litigation matters.

For more information on the claims made by Ms. Sparks against Mr. Devecka and Speedy Kleene Car Wash & Laundromat, contact the law office of Ruppert Manes Narahari at 412-626-5626.

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