A settlement was reached Tuesday between the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department and Marlene Segler, a corrections officer in the department.
The Crow Wing County Board met in a closed session to discuss the litigation with Segler. When it reconvened to an open meeting it agreed to the settlement unanimously.
Chairman John Ferrari was absent.
County Attorney Don Ryan declined to comment about the settlement until both parties have signed necessary documents. He said by early next week the settlement will be a public record.
Segler and two other female employees in the department -- Gae Bock and Darla DeRosier -- filed separate sexual discrimination complaints against the sheriff's department last year, citing job discrimination based on gender.
In the discrimination complaints, filed with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, the female jailers contended they were systematically passed over for promotion, given sole responsibility for "secretarial duties" not required of male co-workers and worked in a pervasive and ongoing hostile environment based on sexual harassment.
Segler has worked for the sheriff's department since 1984. In her complaint, she stated her concerns that female jailers handled nearly all paperwork, were passed over for promotion in favor of less qualified male applicants, were repeatedly denied access to supervisor positions and worked in a hostile environment, which included verbal abuse based on gender.
According to Segler's time sheets, she has been off work since April and has received paid sick leave and paid vacation.
The county board in October authorized the sheriff's department to fill a position while an employee is on medical leave. County Administrator Peter Herlofsky Jr. reported then that the employee had been off work for six months and the chance of the employee returning to work was slim. Herlofsky declined to release the name of the employee.
In an Oct. 7 memo, Herlofsky said, "In order to comply with the Department of Corrections staffing requirements, it would be beneficial to hire a person to replace this employee anticipating the employee will not be returning to work.
"Board members might be concerned that the employee will return and that would result in too many people in the sheriff's department, but with the turnover that could occur I do not see that this will happen."
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