Transgender former employee of Boeing sues for on-the-job harassment

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Rachel Rasmussen, alleging over a decade of relentless harassment, claims Boeing failed to protect her and allowed a culture of harassment to persist

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Boeing Sued by Transgender Former Employee Who Experienced on-the-job Harassment.

Please see the attached complaint filed today against the Boeing Company by Rachel Rasmussen. As you’ll read in the complaint, for more than a decade, Rachel was subjected to relentless harassment and mistreatment due to her gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Aircraft malfunctions are not Boeing’s only safety problem. Many employees are not safe going to work. The company has a culture problem. Rasmussen filed this lawsuit because Boeing repeatedly allowed employees and supervisors in its Everett, Washington Facilities Department to intimidate, target, and harass transgender, gay, and female employees. In her case, the unabated harassment led to sexual assault.


Rachel Rasmussen worked at Boeing from 1989 to 2024. Rachel was safe at Boeing for more than 20 years. During those 20 year she presented as a man and used a male name. She worked hard, performed well, and steadily advanced through the ranks. In 2007, Boeing promoted her to crane mechanic, where her all-male team made her feel welcome. But that soon changed in 2010, when Rachel began transitioning to live as a woman.

During her 11-year tenure as a female crane mechanic, Boeing employees and managers intimidated, targeted, and harassed her because of her gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Most notably, a Boeing employee sexually assaulted Rachel by shoving a broomstick between her legs. That assault was only a small snapshot of the decade-plus harassment Rachel endured.

One coworker stealthily snuck up behind her and groped her buttocks. Another coworker used the slur fa*got during a diversity training. Multiple coworkers asked Rachel probing questions about her transition, like whether she “pees standing up,” and others mocked and ridiculed her gender identity, including one coworker who simulated how sex between a man and a woman is “supposed” to work, using a nut and bolt. On another occasion, a male employee said he wanted to “be a lesbian” and to “self-identify as a horse” as Rachel’s supervisor gazed on indifferently, illustrating Boeing’s complicity. Rachel endured these and many more incidents of violence and harassment for over a decade.

Over the years, Rachel repeatedly reported the harassment to senior Boeing leaders and human resources (HR).

But Boeing did not protect Rachel or other employees. On one occasion, Boeing HR told Rachel that they needed to give her fellow employees time to adjust to her gender transition. Boeing HR also allowed their employees to out Rachel as transgender-despite her pleas that this jeopardized her safety. Every time a new employee joined the team, Rachel’s co-workers outed her as a transgender. Her coworkers even shared before-and-after pictures.

As for the coworker who sexually assaulted Rachel, Boeing suspended him for one day-the same length of punishment Rachel once received for a parking violation. He still works at Boeing today.

Boeing’s failure to protect Rachel left her feeling anxious and physically sick. She knew she was in danger. After years of mistreatment, Rachel was terrified, to the point that she considered suicide.

Realizing she could no longer subject herself to the harassment by her team nor the inaction by Boeing, Rachel left her crane mechanic position in November 2021. To escape, she transferred to a lower-paying non-union job on Boeing’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team. But in January of 2024, Boeing laid her off. Rachel applied for other jobs across Boeing-at least 29 other positions-but the company stonewalled her.

“Boeing falsely claims they are creating a culture of inclusion,” said Jay Free of Bloom Law PLLC who is representing Rasmussen in this matter. “This lawsuit shows the real Boeing, one where anti-gay and sexist culture thrives, causing real harm to working people here in Washington state.”

Rachel Rasmussen added, “I loved my job as a crane mechanic, and I worked hard to change the culture from the inside so everyone could enjoy an inclusive non-retaliatory workplace. After a decade of harassment and internal systems not working, it is my hope this lawsuit can bring meaningful change to both Boeing and all Washington workplaces. Every employee should feel safe and respected on the job.”

Attorney Free added, “Where Boeing goes other employers will follow. It is time to stop making hollow promises. Employers must provide a workplace where employees can thrive free from harassment because of who they are.”

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