February 5, 2023

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Justice Division Secures Resolution in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit From Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania | OPA

The Justice Division declared nowadays that it has achieved a settlement with Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, to resolve the department’s claims in Doe et al. v. Schuylkill County et al., a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Center District of Pennsylvania alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Legal rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).

The consent decree resolves the department’s allegations that County Commissioner George F. Halcovage Jr. sexually harassed four feminine staff members and that individuals staff experienced retaliation when they opposed Halcovage’s sexual harassment. The criticism also alleged a number of incidents of sexual advancements, coercion of sexual intercourse and inappropriate sex-centered responses developing around many yrs.

“All persons are entitled to to go to operate every day without worry of sexual harassment and retaliation when they oppose that harassment,” claimed Assistant Legal professional Standard Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This resolution sends a distinct information that the Justice Office will not tolerate sexual harassment and retaliation especially when it is perpetrated by an elected official who abuses the powers of their business office.”

“Today, by this consent decree, we emphasize that neighborhood governments must have comprehensive procedures and instruction to avoid sexual harassment and retaliation by community servants,” stated U.S. Lawyer Gerard M. Karam for the Center District of Pennsylvania. “No official can abuse their electric power and placement to a workforce they were elected to supervise, and this settlement gives ways the County should consider to reduce and tackle this abusive habits.”

Beneath the conditions of the consent decree, if approved by the court docket, the county will, among other factors, keep a guide from a list of consultants accredited by the Justice Division. The expert will carry out a workplace climate study, propose advancements to the County’s equal work opportunity guidelines and create a new sexual harassment schooling method. The consent decree also involves limits on Commissioner Halcovage, who has refused to resign from his placement and who can only be taken off, beneath condition law, by means of impeachment in the Pennsylvania Household of Representatives and conviction in the Pennsylvania Senate. The four gals harassed by Halcovage, who have extra claims underneath condition and federal legislation in opposition to Schuylkill County and a number of particular person defendants, will go on to pursue their statements.

This lawsuit is element of the Civil Rights Division’s Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Initiative. The initiative is aimed at eradicating sexual harassment in point out and area authorities workplaces. It focuses on litigation, outreach and development of powerful remedial measures to tackle and reduce foreseeable future intercourse discrimination and harassment.

Trial Attorneys Allan Townsend and Amber Trzinski Fox of the Civil Legal rights Division’s Employment Litigation Section and Assistant U.S. Legal professional Michael Butler for the Center District of Pennsylvania prosecuted this case. 

The whole and honest enforcement of Title VII is a top priority of the Civil Rights Division’s Work Litigation Segment. Added information and facts about the Civil Rights Division and the Employment Litigation Section is accessible on its internet sites www.justice.gov/crt and www.justice.gov/crt/employment-litigation-section.