An employee of the East St. Louis Parks District has sued the district, alleging wage and civil rights violations and sexual harassment against the chief of police in the park district.
Marquitta McAfee, a police officer with the East St. Louis Park District, received a right to sue letter from the Illinois Department of Human Rights and has since filed suit in federal court. She is being represented by St. Louis attorney Tom Kennedy.
McAfee’s suit says she is filing on behalf of all others in a similar situation. One other person, Draphy Durgins, is named in the suit.
Irma Golliday, executive director of the East St. Louis Park District, said she cannot comment on pending litigation.
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McAfee is alleging that Marion Hubbard, chief of the East St. Louis Park District, in his duties as the top law enforcement official, said sexually harassing things to her and did things to her that left her feeling “insulted, humiliated and uncomfortable.”
Attempts to reach Hubbard for comment about the suit were not successful.
“The accumulation of unwanted sexual gestures and comments by (Hubbard) created a hostile working environment in which (McAfee) felt uncomfortable working in,” the suit said.
At all times, Hubbard was acting as an employer and supervisor, the suit says.
McAfee also claims in the lawsuit that she and others were required to work without compensation.
McAfee’s duties included patrolling the parks in East St. Louis to provide security. She was a part-time employee and was only compensated by the Park District on an intermittent basis, she claims. She charges that she and others often worked hours and received no compensation.
She and others “ were misclassified as a volunteer for the periods of time during the time she and others worked and received no pay,” according to the suit. This was done to keep from paying them the wages they were due, the suit alleges
When questioned about this practice, Golliday executive director of the East St. Louis Park District told (McAfee) and others that employees of the Park District would have to volunteer. or work without pay several hours a week because the Park District was having financial trouble, according to the suit.
As an example of the mistreatment, McAfee’s suit says if she was scheduled to work two eight hour shift per week, she was required, starting in August 2012, to work between two and eight of the hours for free.
Draphy Durgins, another police officer for the Park District, “was also forced to volunteer certain portions of her weekly shift.”
From 2004 through June 30, 2010, park district officials “implemented an ongoing policy and practice of paying McAfee and others in similar situations “less than the mandated minimum wage of $8 per hour,” the suit states.
Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503