Saying she was wrongly fired for touching the breast of a coworker, ousted Long Island Rail Road engineer Melissa Stampf (pictured, left) had her day in federal court, where she wants millions in damages for wrongful termination after what she claims was a friendly pat on the shoulder back in 2006 turned into her getting arrested for forcible touching, and losing her gig.
After the Manhattan district attorney refused to take the case, Stampf is now going after the LIRR and her accuser Angela Trigg (pictured, right) in a Brooklyn court, relays the NYDN.
Stampf and Trigg, who was also an engineer, had a cordial relationship and even shared a locker at the West Side rail yard on 10th Ave. On the day of the incident, Stampf arrived for her shift and spotted Trigg sitting in her car and went over to say hi.
“I put my hand on and squeezed her shoulder,” Stampf testified yesterday. “She said, ‘What are you doing?’ She said if I touched her again she’ll ‘break my f—— arm.’
“I was shocked,” Stampf said. “She repeated it again, ‘Don’t f—— touch me.’ I felt there was some kind of tension in the air and I walked away.”
A male co-worker sitting in Trigg’s auto backed up her allegation Stampf “grabbed and jiggled” her breast.
Stampf’s lawyer Philip Dinhofer said Trigg had a history of making complaints against co-workers: Trigg had previously accused a male co-worker of slapping her buttocks and another male of making a lewd comment, he said. They were each docked five days’ pay. Stampf lost about 20 days’ pay. Stampf, who said she is the only Asian female engineer at the railroad, says she was treated harshly because of her race, gender and sexual orientation.