Two Trees employee wants more than real estate
by Andrew Pavia
Jun 05, 2013 | 1059 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of Make the Road New York rally join Blanca Collaguazo outside Two Trees headquarters in Brooklyn.
Members of Make the Road New York rally join Blanca Collaguazo outside Two Trees headquarters in Brooklyn.
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An employee of Two Trees Management, a company known for its extensive development of DUMBO, is being accused by a Queens resident of sexual harassment.

Standing outside the company's headquarters at 45 Main St. in Brooklyn, Corona resident Blanca Collaguazo said the harassment began shortly after she started working there in June of 2011 cleaning luxury apartments.

Collaguazo claims her boss Raymond Torte demanded that she clean his home in New Jersey. After she refused, the harassment began, she says.

“I did not feel comfortable cleaning his house because his wife would not be there and he also wanted it to be at night,” Collaguazo said last week. “Mr. Torte started yelling and getting angry about anything. Also, he started molesting me.”

She said in 2012 he told her that if she wanted to continue working at Two Trees she would have to have sex with him.

She never had sex with Torte, and continued to show up to work. Collaguazo said she was never paid, but at one point Torte attempted to give her $200 in cash, but she refused.

Two Trees denies that Collaguazo was ever an employee, and said they are investigating Torte.

“We are investigating the very serious allegations made against one of our employees and will take immediate action based on the result of that investigation,” said Two Trees spokesman Jeremy Scoffin. “Two Trees takes pride in offering an excellent work environment to all of our employees, and we accept nothing less.”

Collaguazo has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The commission cannot comment on open cases, but a representative said that standard practice is to determine the gravity of each case and attempt to gain a settlement.

If the company does not comply, the commission could file a lawsuit.

“I do not want to have more sexual harassment and wage theft,” Collaguazo said last week. “I want to get paid the wages they owe me.”

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