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July 15, 2014

Why no investigation by state?

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources' lack of curiosity about the behavior of one of its supervisors is troubling.

A former worker alleges that a supervisor at the state's World Shooting and Recreational Complex tried to get her to strip at a party with about 20 state workers in attendance, and "got up on a picnic table to demonstrate what he wanted." She believes she wasn't rehired the next season as retaliation.

Yet a spokesman for the IDNR said the department is not investigating because the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed her complaint.

First, the dismissal doesn't mean the complaint was without merit; it just means the EEOC couldn't determine whether federal laws were broken. It gave the woman permission to file a lawsuit against IDNR and pursue this.

But regardless of whether laws were broken, the behavior alleged is not appropriate behavior for a supervisor. If true, he should lose his job. What do those worker witnesses have to say?

To keep the supervisor on the job, or even move him to a different job, without an investigation, suggests Gov. Pat Quinn's administrators don't take allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation seriously.

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