ON THE DEFENSIVE: ISU INVOLVED WITH SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT

News – The Bengal
Andrew Crighton
News Editor
Idaho State University is currently one of two defendants in a lawsuit from a former employee, Kelly Pokorny.
Pokorny was the former education director at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, and claims that her supervisor at the time, Herb Maschner, sexually harassed her beginning in July of 2013.
The lawsuit names ISU as a defendant because Pokorny claims that the university played part in not properly handling the sexual harassment complaint and alleged retaliation against her by Maschner.
Pokorny seeks damages in excess of $10,000 for lost benefits and used paid-time-off, lost wages, medical/counseling expenses, emotional harm and attorney and litigation costs.
According to the complaint and demand for jury trial filed within the Idaho State courts, Pokorny claimed on October 25, 2013 Maschner grabbed Pokorny by the buttocks and kissed her on the lips.
Once Pokorny’s complaint was filed with the university, the Equal Opportunity Office conducted an investigation. The findings concluded that the sexual harassment had occurred, an alternative version of events claimed by Maschner did not occur and suggested that Maschner be suspended without pay and go through a sexual harassment training course among other things.
Following the investigation, on December 3, 2014, the Idaho Human Rights Commission issued a ‘right to sue letter’.
If an individual wishes to take their employer to court over a discrimination based charge, they must receive this ‘right to sue letter’ either from the Federal EEOC, or their state branch, in this case the IHRC.
As part of ISU’s EEOC investigation recommendations, Pokorny was to either be allowed to return to her job or receive an equivalent position in a different department.
ISU allegedly pressured Pokorny to take a different position, one that was not equivalent.
Pokorny claims she was placed into the basement of the Administration building with no phone, computer or tasks to complete.
This allegation is …


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