Employees decide not to file lawsuit against village

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:54

    Warwick - The six women who work in Village Hall will not move forward with a sexual discrimination lawsuit, according to their lawyer, Helen Ullrich. The women filed an administrative complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last December, alleging they no longer earn salaries on par with the public works employees, who are members of the Teamsters International Union. The group includes all office staff workers except one, who is a civil service employee. The complaint also alleged the women do not receive overtime pay and have been publicly humiliated and belittled because of their gender. The EEOC issued a dismissal in April on the federal discrimination complaint filed by the non-union employees, which meant the EEOC would not pursue the case. The women had 90 days in which to decide whether they would proceed with a lawsuit. "I met with my clients several weeks ago and discussed what their options were," said Ullrich. "They decided not to pursue this. Doing so would be too disruptive to do their jobs. They are hoping to move forward with the village." Mayor Michael Newhard also is looking forward. "I am grateful," Newhard said. "But beyond that, the board has been very proactive - we've hired legal counsel to put a handbook together with job descriptions. We've sent letters to other municipalities for pay scales." "They feel good about their decision," Ullrich stated, regarding her clients. "Their feeling is they have been heard. They have made their voices heard and believe the village will respond in good faith." Newhard had only praise for the staff he works with every day. "They work very hard," he said. "It is a difficult job, dealing with all of the minor and major details, dealing with the public. I'm grateful we're moving on."