Human Rights report: No grounds for complaint against townRecommends dismissing sexual harassment claim
Rockport — An investigator from the Maine Human Rights Commission has found no reasonable grounds for a former Town of Rockport employee's complaint that she was subjected to a hostile work environment or retaliated against when she was fired.
Karla VanAlstine Peabody of Rockland filed a complaint that one of her supervisors at the Town of Rockport sexually harassed her and then retaliated against her by leading the charge to have her fired when he learned she was in a relationship with another employee, according to the report filed by investigator Michele Dion. VanAlstine Peabody claimed the town violated the Maine Human Rights Act when it fired her because it feared she would bring a claim of sexual harassment and because of her relationship with another employee.
She had begun working in the town office in August 2012 through a temporary agency and became an assistant to the assessor in September of that year. She was placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation in December of that year. She was fired in February 2013.
The investigator reviewed extensive written materials and testimony provided by the parties in the case. Following the investigation, Dion recommended the Maine Human Rights Commission issue a finding of no reasonable grounds that the town subjected VanAlstine Peabody to a hostile work environment based on sex or that the town retaliated against her.
"The complaint should be dismissed," the report states.
Courier Publications News Director Daniel Dunkle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 594-4401 ext. 122.
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Daniel Dunkle is editor of The Courier-Gazette and news director for Courier Publications. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Christine, who also works for Courier Publications, and two children.
Dunkle has previously served as editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. He has worked as a reporter and photographer in the Midcoast for 15 years.