Posted On: December 27, 2008

Sexual Harassment lawsuit against Muskegon County Michigan Officals by the U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Muskegon County, Michigan accusing it of failing to protect female employees against a male co-worker who sexually harassed them. In Illinois employees or their sexual harassment lawyers have the option of filing a cliam with the EEOC or Illinois Department of Human Rights in either Chicago or Springfield.

A lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan alleging the county violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the complaint, Eva Amaya was employed as a Microcomputer Analyst in the District Court of Muskegon County Michigan. Beginning around February 2000, a coworker Eugene Beene made inappropriate comments to her and had inappropriately touched her.

Amaya reported the harassment to her supervisor Michael Flanery who was the District Court Administrator. He reported the harassment to Mr. Beene's supervisor Patricia Steele whose only remedy was for Amaya to keep her blinds open to prevent further harassment. The county took no further action.

Amaya continued to report harassment by Beene to the county including having her breasts and behind touched. Beene was finally fired in March 2006 after one woman filed criminal charges against him for his harassment and after women repeatedly complained of Beenes inappropriate sexual touching, starting in 2000.

The complaint alleges the County created a hostile work environment, failed to prevent further harassment and failed to take remedial steps to prevent further sexual harassment.

Amaya first filed a complaint with the EEOC on November 13, 2006 and after a complete investigation, the EEOC found reasonable cause to believe the allegations were true and after an unsuccessful attempt to achieve concilliation, referred the case to the United States Department of Justice.

Chief 60th District Judge Andrew J. Wierengo III declined to answer questions from The Muskegon Chronicle about the case and referred questions to county attorney Ted Williams Jr