On February 25, 2019, Alva Johnson, a former senior staffer on President Donald J. Trump’s 2016 campaign for president filed a complaint against Mr. Trump and his campaign in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Ms. Johnson played a significant role in securing voter engagement and turnout for Donald Trump in the primaries and the general election. But her achievements in the campaign did not insulate her from Trump’s predatory behavior. On August 24, 2016, then-candidate Trump forcibly kissed Ms. Johnson in a campaign RV prior to a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida. Like so many women who have been the target of Trump’s predatory behavior, Ms. Johnson was humiliated, traumatized, and scared. Ms. Johnson, who is black, also suffered pay discrimination based on race and gender. Indeed, during some periods of the campaign, Ms. Johnson, a campaign Director, made about half of the compensation paid to a male employee who had recently graduated from high school. Ms. Johnson asserts claims for unequal pay against the Trump campaign on her own behalf and on behalf of other female campaign staff members. Ms. Johnson filed this case seeking justice for herself and others victimized by a man whose predatory behavior has gone unchecked for decades and whose campaign embodied his own sexism.
Alva Johnson’s attorney, Hassan A. Zavareei, released the following statement after the lawsuit was filed:
“Alva Johnson has made the very difficult and courageous choice to come forward today and hold Donald Trump accountable for his sexual predation. Although Trump has been accused by over twenty women of sexual misconduct, most if not all of those claims are barred by the statute of limitations. Ms. Johnson is uniquely positioned to go to court and hold the president accountable for his illegal behavior. Trump has bragged about his sexual misconduct; now it is time for him to defend himself in court.
After Trump’s victory, Ms. Johnson tried to move on with her life. But when she saw what her work on the campaign had wrought—a president who mocks the #MeToo movement and undermines the dignity of the office with his sexist and racist behavior—she decided to seek justice for herself and the many other women victimized by this sexual predator. She is a brave woman and I am proud to represent her in this important lawsuit.”