Charges Filed in Alleged Sex and Disability Case

After investigation of a complaint filed by Brad Avakian, commissioner of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), the state Civil Rights Division filed formal charges against the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) and its former Director, John Minnis.  The Bureau said its investigation determined  there was substantial evidence both DPSST and Minnis violated state sex discrimination and disability discrimination laws.
The charges filed with BOLI's Hearings Unit allege Minnis used his position of authority to subject the victim to sexual advances, provided unusually large pay increases to the victim, and used his knowledge of her treatment for addiction to alcohol and her vulnerability to alcohol-induced black-outs to pursue and prey on her. (WCxKit)
Alcoholism is a disability recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended, and similar state law. The damages sought reflect the extreme stress inflicted on an employee by the highest authority within her agency.
The formal charges,  ask for damages in an amount to be shown at hearing, including at least $2 million for emotional, mental and physical suffering. A hearing is set for July 27. A final order from BOLI's Hearings Unit, similar to an order issued by a circuit court, may only be appealed directly to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
BOLI's investigation has revealed information painting an alarming picture of the harassment  ‘Jane Doe' endured at DPSST,” Avakian said. “State agencies and their management must be held to the highest standards, and all Oregonians need to have confidence in  their rights to a safe, harassment-free workplace will be protected.” (WCxKitz)
 “Cases like this are the reason  BOLI's authority to defend civil rights covers both private and public employers,” Avakian explained. “Pursuing a full remedy in this case is critical not only to ensuring fairness and justice for all Oregon workers, but also to maintaining the integrity of our state government and showing  nobody, no matter what their position, is above the law.”
  Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers' Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. Contact:   or 860-553-6604.

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers' comp issues.

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