Thursday, February 21, 2019

Mayor Drew Named In Federal Lawsuit Against City

Click on image to enlarge.
Click HERE for full document
A city employee has filed a federal lawsuit alleging discrimination and retaliation by the city. The suit is filed in the United States District Court in New Haven, and alleges violations of the Civil Rights Act, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, and Connecticut's Equal Pay law.

Michele DiMauro has been working in city schools since 2006, and has been the Manager of Human Resources for the Board of Education since 2012. Although this position deals exclusively with workers in the school system, it is under the supervision of City Hall.

DiMauro filed a grievance through the union in late 2017, stating that her salary was significantly lower than that given to the male Director of Human Resources in City Hall, though the positions were equivalent, and she oversees Human Resources functions for 1200 employees, while the City Hall Director oversees Human Resources functions for 700 employees.

In her lawsuit, DiMauro alleges that Mayor Drew has made denigrating comments about the professionalism and competence of female city employees, called her a "paper pusher" and referred to female city employees as "witches around a cauldron."

Click HERE for full document
These and other complaints had previously motivated the Common Council to vote unanimously to investigate whether there were unfair hiring and promotion practices, and retaliation against employees who speak out against them. The report did not find direct evidence of mayoral malfeasance, but did highlight disturbing themes and concerns, in particular employees' fear of retribution by the Mayor.

DiMauro filed a charge of discrimination with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities about a year ago. She has now decided to sue in Federal court instead.

The lawsuit requests lost wages and benefits of employment, and attorneys' fees. It also seeks punitive and compensatory damages as a result of emotional distress, pain, humiliation and embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of enjoyment of profession, and harm to reputation. The lawsuit does not name a specific dollar value.

The attorney for the city, General Counsel Brig Smith, declined to comment on the lawsuit, as did Michele DiMauro. The Office of the Mayor  referred all questions to Attorney Mike Rose, the outside counsel who is representing the city. The Eye was unable to reach Rose before press time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Unsigned comments will rarely be published. If you want your comment to be published, make it clear who you are. Use your real name, don't leave us guessing your identity.