Women have 90 days to decide whether to file lawsuit

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:48

    WARWICK-The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a dismissal and notice of rights statement last week on the federal discrimination complaint filed by six female employees of the Village of Warwick. The EEOC statement said the investigation was unable to conclude that the village violated the statutes. It further stated that the EEOC does not certify that the Village is in compliance with New York State. Six female employees of the Village of Warwick filed the federal discrimination complaint against the village alleging they are being treated unfairly in terms of vacation and monetary compensation as compared to their male counterparts in the Department of Public Works. Helen Ullrich, the attorney representing the women, said the women must now decide whether to go forward and file a lawsuit with the federal government. They have 90 days to do so. "We have asked for the records that the EEOC has," Ullrich said. "Once they send their file, I'll sit down and meet with my clients and see where we are going with this." Village Mayor Michael Newhard was pleased with the EEOC statement and said he hopes this opens up communication between the village and the employees. "The office staff has accepted a request by the Village Board to sit down and begin what I hope will be a positive dialogue to address the issues," Newhard said. "This has been a difficult time for both parties; difficult for the office staff to make such a public statement and difficult for the trustees and myself in a world where sexual discrimination blends in the public ear to be sexual harassment." In the suit filed in December with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the non-union employees claimed they earned salaries on an equal scale with the public works employees, who are members of the Teamsters International Union, up until 2002. After that, the parity ended, they claimed. The group includes all office staff workers except one, who is a civil service employee. The complaint alleged the women do not receive overtime pay and have been publicly humiliated and belittled because of their gender.