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Employee sues city over alleged harassment

Also seeks lost wages from loss of position after leave of absence

WARREN — A 18-year employee of the city of Warren Utilities Department has sued the city over losing her shift leader position after taking family leave and then being harassed unfairly in her new position as assistant administrator.

Megan Stanislaw, who lives on West Avenue NW, through her attorney, F. Benjamin Rick III of Akron, is seeking punitive damage and awards for economic losses and future earnings. The lawsuit was filed April 13 and assigned to Common Pleas Judge Peter J. Kontos. She began working for the city in March 2003.

The complaint stated, Stanislaw was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in October 2019 and took leave for two months. After she was cleared to return to her job, she was reassigned as a data entry operator at a pay rate that was $3 per hour less than she previously earned.

According to the lawsuit, Stanislaw’s supervisor, utilities office manager Deborah DelBene, has “engaged in an ongoing scheme to harass” her because of her disability. The harassment has taken the form of questioning Sanislaw’s abilities, demanding to know when she will apply for disability retirement and making false accusations that Stanislaw was a bully and racist.

“This harassment was severe and / or pervasive and affected plaintiff’s ability to perform her duties in a stress-free environment as prescribed by her doctor, the lawsuit states. Complaints about DelBene’s conduct to management and the city’s human resources department has not met with success, the lawsuit states.

A call was made to the city law department for comment on the lawsuit, but no one responded.

DelBene began working for the city in February 1994 and has been an office manager in the utilities services division since June 2008.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial.

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