State parole officer settles unlawful retaliation lawsuit
GOSHEN – A female state parole officer has settled her federal lawsuit against the state Division of Parole for $125,000.
On the eve of her trial, Rita Flynn of Orange County accepted the settlement, said her attorney Stephen Bergstein.
The lawsuit, filed in 2007, alleged retaliation for complaints of gender discrimination by supervisors and managers in the state agency that supervisors prisoners after their release from incarceration.
The lawsuit alleged that after Flynn had complained about gender discrimination to management and the state Division of Human Rights in 2005, the Division of Parole removed Flynn from her position as sex offender parole officer; suspended her for almost three months; revealed personal information about her to the community, jeopardizing her safety; and denied her overtime and other job benefits, said Bergstein.
“The issues that were for trial were not the gender discrimination issues. The issues at the trial had to do with retaliation after she was complaining about gender discrimination,” he said. “The Parole Department, I think, is a male dominated workplace.”
Flynn’s other attorney, Helen Ullrich, said women “have a right to speak out when their basic right to equal treatment is violated, without fear of retaliation from the employer.”