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5 employees reach settlement with Missouri county

St. Charles County announced on April 3 that it agreed to settle with former and current employees who filed a lawsuit claiming unfair treatment by the county's elections director. Although he agreed to the settlement, the director continued to deny the accusations and claimed that he was not involved in any wrongdoing.

The first employee filed the lawsuit against the elections director in October 2011. She claimed that the director had sexually harassed her. Four others were added to the lawsuit in 2012. Three of these employees claimed that they were retaliated against, receiving poor job performance evaluations for corroborating the first employee's claim. The fifth employee claimed that she was retaliated against after filing an age and disability discrimination complaint against the director.

The employees received compensation that ranged from $25,000 to $222,000. Of the five employees, only one worker remains employed in the director's office. In addition to the settlement, that worker was also found to be entitled to a merit pay increase of 1 percent, which had been denied to him due to his poor performance evaluation.

Workplace harassment may have a major effect on an employee's performance. If an employee who complains about harassment or discrimination faces retaliation, he or she may file a lawsuit against the harasser and employer. In many cases, the employee may potentially seek compensation for any income that was lost due to a poor performance evaluation or income that was not earned due to termination.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "St. Charles County paying $370,000 to settle employees' lawsuit against elections director," Mark Schlinkmann, April 3, 2015

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