Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Coal Region Canary
Coal Region CanaryCoal Region Canary

Schuylkill County Me Too

Halcovage, Others Seek Dismissal of Federal Lawsuit Against Them

Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage, along with co-defendants Administrator Gary Bender and Solicitor Glenn Roth, want a federal judge to dismiss the harassment, discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against them.

Halcovage is accused of sexually discriminating and harassing 4 Schuylkill County Courthouse employees over the course of nearly a decade. Roth and Bender are accused in the lawsuit of being complicit in Halcovage’s alleged behavior, allowing it to continue and failing to act in their capacities to stop it.

The employees, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, and Jane Doe 4, filed a civil lawsuit against the County and these specific employees in US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania back on March 16.

Ten days later, Halcovage’s lawyer, George Geiger, filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The reason?

The plaintiffs didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies available to them before filing the lawsuit.

Halcovage, Roth, Bender Seek to Get Federal Lawsuit Dismissed

According to the motion filed back on March 26, Geiger writes to the court that the Jane Does admit they never received a “Notice of Right to Sue” letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Further, the Jane Does’ claims with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission are still pending.

So, these claims included in the lawsuit shouldn’t be eligible for a federal civil lawsuit (or “ripe”) until Aug. 27.

In the original complaint against Halcovage, et al, the Jane Does argue their lawsuit should be “deemed ripe for filing” in the “interest of justice”.

“Plaintiffs must exhaust their administrative remedies with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before bringing a Title VII claim in this court,” Halcovage’s motion reads.

In a separate court doc filed the same day by Geiger, he explains why it’s important to exhaust all other remedies before filing the federal lawsuit.

“It puts the employer on notice of the complaint and gives the employer the opportunity to take remedial action,” it reads. “Exhaustion gives the EEOC notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to fulfill its responsibility of eliminating the allegedly unlawful practice through informal methods.”

Geiger also complains that this case is being “litigated” in the news media and that Halcovage hasn’t had an opportunity to respond to the complaints.

“This should be a confidential personnel matter,” Geiger adds. “By filing suit, plaintiffs are short-circuiting the EEOC’s investigation. It is not in the ‘interest of justice’ to prevent the EEOC and PHRC from completing their investigations and force this court to adjudicate claims that might become partially moot and undermines an active EEOC investigation. It is not in the interest of justice to rush to the Courthouse without allowing the EEOC to do its job.”


Subscribe to Coal Region Canary

Get email updates from Coal Region Canary by becoming a subscriber today. Just enter your email address below to get started!

Support Coal Region Canary

Like our reporting and want to support truly local news in Schuylkill County? Your small donations help. For as little as $5, your contribution will allow us to cover more news that directly affects you. Consider donating today by hitting the big yellow button below ...

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jusa

    April 7, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Good… Jane doe… Right, $ seekers…
    Dirty politics..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *