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 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.”
- Report: Boots Tells Halcovage to Quit – Argall Addresses Impeachment
- State Legislators “Strongly Urge” Halcovage to Quit
- Schuylkill GOP, Democrats Call for Halcovage Resignation