Wednesday, October 1, 2008


So let me get this straight: a woman gets a job working for the East Streets Division for the City of Madison, then gets sexually harassed on the job by a co-worker/superior. Woman gets fired by said co-worker, woman files suit, court finds that she was likely terminated because of sexual discrimination/harassment, city pays out $80,000 to her but also allows the offending co-worker to keep his job, while woman is barred from ever working for the city again.

How on earth does that even approach making sense?

Because that's exactly what happened to Michelle Heimann, and Mayor Dave himself has even stated that he thinks the settlement was fair. For now, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was only talking about the money and not the other circumstances surrounding the case. How is it fair for a guy guilty of sexual harassment to keep his job? How is it fair for the woman who fell victim to that crap to be banned from working for the city ever again? Heimann has even said that she would prefer just to get her job back rather than get the settlement money.

This is just ridiculous, and I'm ashamed that my city would handle the situation in such a way. I think more than a few phone calls and messages to the mayor are in order.

h/t Brenda Konkel


michael d said...

I wonder if there wasn't enough of a case to prove that he did it but enough to give her a payoff. If he's a union member, they'd probably fight to keep him from losing his job if there were any grounds to do so.

Emily said...

The guy up and admitted to some of the stuff, and tried to play off other incidents as "jokes" - so I'm not sure there's much argument over whether or not it happened. But I do see your point, and I wonder, too. Regardless, I'm still firmly of the opinion that this is pretty ridiculous.

michael d said...

Oh, no argument there. It's ridiculous and it's awful. I'm just less surprised than I might be given how unfireable some of my coworkers seemed to be when I worked for the state. There were people who consistently gamed the system and were actively awful for the organization, but our managers didn't think they'd succeed if they fired them so they didn't try.

Emily said...

And that is super duper lame. I'm pretty pro-union, but I'm also for making sure shit like that doesn't happen. Union's should be about securing good jobs and benefits for people doing honest work, not for harboring jackasses.

The Lost Albatross