TOLEDO, Ohio — Cedar Point has always been a magical place for Brittani Dunlap.
“I love my roller coasters,” she said.
In 2013, as a teenager, she began working at the park. She returned in 2016, 2021, and 2022.
“I love the park. I loved working there,” she said.
The fairy tale turned into a nightmare earlier this month when she was fired. And she said the firing was the result of her reporting one of the park’s team leaders for sexual harassment.
“One day my roommate and I were walking back to my room, and he followed us. He pushed his way into our room,” she said. “We kept telling him to leave, and he kept asking us all kinds of sexual questions. We told him numerous times he had to leave. The only way we could get him out of the room was threatening to spray him with mace and threatening to call security.”
Dunlap did not have a phone number for her roommate, but 11 Investigates interviewed another Cedar Point employee who said she was also harassed by the team leader. Dunlap was able to provide several items to verify her employment at Cedar Point.
She said the harassment didn’t end there. It continued the next day when she encountered him in a nearby building.
“He cornered me in a conference room. I don't know what his plan was, but I just know that he made me feel very uncomfortable. He was asking me sexual questions, and then another employee walked in and he walked out,” she said.
Earlier this month, 11 Investigates produced an investigation on sexual assault allegations inside Cedar Point housing units. There have been 27 reports taken by the Sandusky Police Department since 2017. The Cedar Point police department refused to say whether it has additional incident reports. The department has argued in a previous lawsuit that it is a private force not subject to the state’s public records laws.
Dunlap said she reported the encounters to a Cedar Point security guard, who told a Cedar Point police sergeant. Dunlap said she was told by the sergeant that the man had been accused of similar incidents the previous year, and he reported her story to human resources. She said she was summoned to HR the next day after her shift was completed.
And she had a much different experience than she was expecting.
She could not identify the manager who was involved, but Dunlap said she was told that the team manager’s behavior “was inappropriate, sexual harassment, and that the behavior isn't appropriate.”
But then the manager fired her and allowed the team leader to continue working, Dunlap said. To add to her confusion, the manager complimented her work record, Dunlap said. She believes the firing was because of her complaint.
WTOL sent Dunlap’s allegations to Cedar Point. We also included the name of the team leader and asked for a comment. There was no response to the email.
11 Investigates made six attempts to contact the team leader by phone, but each attempt resulted in an audio message: “the wireless customer you are attempting to reach is not available. Please try again later.”
Dunlap is still a roller coaster fan, but her view has soured on the park’s leadership. She has retained a lawyer, believing a lawsuit is the only way to get the park’s attention.
“I feel like HR doesn't care for the associates. In our training class, they talk about sexual harassment or sexual assault, and they tell you that if you feel like you're getting sexually harassed or sexually assaulted, then you can go to HR or your manager,” she said . “They said HR is always there, willing to help you, and it just makes me feel like they're actually not. They're trying to protect these guys.”
More on WTOL: