Are elected positions the same as typical employee positions in Missouri? The two categorically different types of employment may have the same protections against workplace harassment. The Director of Missouri’s park and recreation division has recently brought this issue to the limelight.

The Director is claiming she has been harassed at her workplace for the past two years while serving in her city position. The Director has voiced her concerns over the workplace harassment by filing a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights. The underlying claim of the workplace harassment allegedly stems from the employment termination of the sister of person who is allegedly harassing the Director.

The initial report of the workplace harassment was made in 2010, when the Director sent a memo to the city administrator. It was reported the city council did not become informed about the claimed workplace harassment until September 2012.

In a recent city meeting, the Director has asked the city council to implement one of three options. The first option is to do nothing, the second option is to censure or warn the claimed harasser and the third option is to implement the impeachment process of the claimed harasser. Current reports indicate the city council has chosen to investigate the workplace harassment claim and the investigation remains ongoing.

Currently the parties involved in the workplace harassment lawsuit are the Director, the claimed harasser and the city council. All parties involved in this workplace harassment claim have retained legal counsel to assess the workplace harassment claims and ensure the best outcome for each party involved.

Source: Arnold Patch, “Arnold Employee Files Harassment Complaint Against Councilman,” Sheri Gassaway, Oct. 19, 2012