Wednesday, June 21, 2000

City faces lawsuit

Woman claims discrimination

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A federal lawsuit filed by the former director of public information against the city of Hamilton alleges gender and pay discrimination.

        The seven-page lawsuit, brought by Patricia Hutzelman and filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, claims the city voted to eliminate the public information department a week after its budget had been approved. The suit further claims that the department was dropped when other departments received increased funding.

        After Ms. Hutzelman was fired, the suit says, city officials began funding other departments and employees to assume her duties.

        Ms. Hutzelman said in the suit that she was fired March 1, 1999, because she was pregnant. She also alleges that she was paid less than “similarly situated males for performing equal work, requiring the same skill, effort and responsibility.”

        Ms. Hutzelman is seeking immediate reinstatement, lost pay and benefits, as well as unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

        The suit, which was filed June 7, seeks a jury trial.

        Hamilton Law Director Hillary Miller said an answer to Ms. Hutzelman's allegations will be filed by mid-August.


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