Employee sues city over working conditions

Accounting assistant Gretchen Bohannon has filed a federal-court suit against the city, claiming that the city violated her rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act and various civil rights acts, and intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon her.

The complaint, filed in Tacoma by Bremerton attorney Randy Loun, does not claim any specific amount of damages, pursuant to federal-court rules.

But in a claim filed with the city over the summer – a precondition to filing suit – Bohannon sought damages of $1.5 million.

Bohannon maintains that the city failed to make adequate accommodation for a physical ailment.

She claims that she was passed over for promotion because of an alleged romantic relationship between a supervisor and another employee. She also claims to have been sexually harassed and discriminated against, and to have suffered retaliation for her complaints.

The city denies the allegations.

“They are simply not true,” acting Administrator Lee Walton said.

In a prepared statement, the city said accommodation for Bohannon’s ailment was made as soon as she made supervisors aware of her condition.

The city says Bohannon was in fact promoted in 2000, but renounced the promotion 13 days later. It also says an outside investigator has looked into both the sexual harassment and claims concerning a romantic liaison, and found them to be unwarranted.

Bohannon, who has worked for the city since 1991, remains on the job.

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