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Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
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August 11, 2007, 4:53am Report to Moderator
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SCHENECTADY
Former worker suing county
Woman claiming sexual harassment

BY JILL BRYCE Gazette Reporter

   A Schenectady woman has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Schenectady County and two of its employees alleging she was the victim of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination when she was a county employee.
   Suzanne M. Burns, a computer aide in the Department of Information Service, is seeking back wages and benefits, loss of savings and seeking compensatory damages for the pain she suffered, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.
   Burns filed two complaints with the Equal Opportunity Employee Commission alleging that on Dec. 10, 2004, she was the victim of sexual harassment and was retaliated against because of a complaint she filed.
   The EEOC issued a decision in September 2006 that found “probable cause” existed to believe she was the victim of sexual harassment. In May, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division said she had the right to sue.
   Burns is suing the county, her supervisor at the time, Donald R. Mennillo Jr., who is deputy director of the Department of Information Services, and Kathleen Flanagan Heap, personnel administrator.
   According to the lawsuit, Burns started working for Schenectady County in June 1998. From September 2001 to May 2004, the lawsuit alleges, Mennillo acted inappropriately and “rubbed up against her, leered at her body, blew kisses at her and waited for her outside the ladies’ room among other things.”
   She complained to her superiors, but no corrective action was taken, according to the lawsuit, and she was told “Mr. Mennillo was politically connected.”
   The lawsuit alleges Mennillo’s conduct created a “hostile work environment” for Burns, who took a short leave of absence from work and returned from March to May 2004. She filed an internal complaint with Schenectady County in April 2004.
   Mennillo’s conduct continued, according to the seven-page lawsuit, and Burns suffered an anxiety attack and took another leave from May 2004 to March 2005.
   The lawsuit alleges that on July 20, 2004, when Burn’s complaint was pending, Heap reclassifi ed Burn’s civil service status from permanent to temporary by “surreptitiously altering the county’s computer records,” and Burns had to take an exam to keep her job.
   Heap’s alleged effort to change Burn’s civil service status, and force her to take a test, occurred shortly after the county was informed of the sexual harassment charge, which is when the county’s investigation was about to begin, according to the lawsuit.
   In November 2004, the Schenectady County Sexual Harassment Committee issued a report clearing Mennillo of charges, but the EEOC found: “Credible witness testimony corroborated Burns’ allegation of a hostile working environment.”
   According to the lawsuit, Burns was the victim of a hostile environment on the basis of her gender and Mennillo’s unwelcome conduct was “sufficiently severe and pervasive that it unreasonably interfered with Burns’ ability to do her job effectively.”
   The acts of Schenectady County, (through Mennillo), “constitute unlawful discrimination against Burns on the basis of her gender, which violates New York State Human Rights Law,” according to the lawsuit.
   County Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage said she was not familiar with the lawsuit and could not comment on Friday evening, and the county attorney could not be reached for comment.  



  
  
  

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Shadow
August 11, 2007, 7:12am Report to Moderator
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How can Susan Savage not know anything about this case when she's been the chairwoman for the County Council the whole time this case has been going on. Another question is did Susan have anything to do with Burns having her Civil Service records changed in order to get even with her. This case warrants a complete investigation to determine who knew what and when things were done to Burns and who had her civil Service records changed? If anyone on the County Council is involved they should be fired immediately.
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bumblethru
August 11, 2007, 12:25pm Report to Moderator
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   County Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage said she was not familiar with the lawsuit and could not comment on Friday evening


Either Suzie is lying through her teeth to the people or she is clearly not doing her job for the people. In either case, she needs to be voted OUT!


When the INSANE are running the ASYLUM
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. -- Friedrich Nietzsche


“How fortunate for those in power that people never think.”
Adolph Hitler
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senders
August 11, 2007, 2:11pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
County Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage said she was not familiar with the lawsuit and could not comment on Friday evening, and the county attorney could not be reached for comment.  


She was probably too busy teaching proper English to those folks who think they want/need her 'benefits'..........


...you are a product of your environment, your environment is a product of your priorities, your priorities are a product of you......

The replacement of morality and conscience with law produces a deadly paradox.


STOP BEING GOOD DEMOCRATS---STOP BEING GOOD REPUBLICANS--START BEING GOOD AMERICANS

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BIGK75
August 11, 2007, 7:53pm Report to Moderator
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County Legislature Chairwoman Susan Savage said she was not familiar with the lawsuit and could not comment on Friday evening


There's a definite difference between not being familiar with the lawsuit and not being able to comment on it.  If you can't comment on it, that could be because the case is still open.  But the the County Chair to not even be familiar with it?  Did she even know it was going on before she was interviewed on it?  Come on, Susie, get to work on what I am paying you for or give me my cut of your paycheck back.
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Shadow
August 11, 2007, 9:11pm Report to Moderator
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Suzy has to be replaced if she has no idea of what's going on in the city/county when she's supposed to be the chairperson for the whole county.
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