Carbon County Sheriff Dwight Nothstein and the County of Carbon are defendants in a lawsuit filed by an employee alleging racial and sexual harassment and discrimination.
The action was filed in U.S. District Court, Scranton, on behalf of Evelyn S. Hydock-Horos, an employee in the sheriff's office.
Hydock-Horos is alleging she was denied a promotion because of her race and gender, and was subjected to a hostile work environment.
She is seeking a promotion to the position of sergeant in the sheriff's office and "tort remedies," including payment for compensatory damages, pain and suffering, physical and emotional distress, economic loss, time loss, severe emotional trauma, and punitive damages.
Nothstein denied the allegations this morning.
"They're all false," he said of the lawsuit allegations. "We will defend it because it's false."
He added that he cannot make any additional comments because it is a court matter.
The suit, which requests a jury trial, was filed on behalf of Hydock-Horos by the law firm of Hahalis & Kounoupis, PC. of Bethlehem.
The court action alleges: "Throughout plaintiff's employment, she made repeated applications for the sergeant position. On each such occasion, the position was awarded to a less qualified, less senior male deputy."
Hydock-Horos has been employed by the county since Jan. 6, 2004, when she was hired as a part-time security guard. She was promoted to deputy sheriff in August 2004.
She alleges, "From as early as 2006 and continuing plaintiff was subjected to continuous and pervasive sexual discrimination and retaliation by Nothstein ..."
Examples she alleges in the suit are:
Ÿ On Jan. 2006, Nothstein went to plaintiff's office and started to rub her back.
Ÿ In Feb. 2006, she was leaving the department and Nothstein said to her, "You better go and earn your paycheck. I know we don't have a jungle here but you should still be able to work."
There are other references to her breasts and her race alleged in the suit.
The suit states, "Plaintiff has been discriminated against because of her race, gender, and has been exposed to a hostile work environment and retaliated against because she complained of discrimination."
She is seeking damages due to loss of future income, benefits, earnings, and earnings capacity in excess of $100,000.
She is also seeking losses of past income, benefits and earnings in excess of $100,000.
Finally, she is seeking punitive damages in excess of $100,000.
The suit states, "Plaintiff seeks promotion to sergeant, together with back pay, compensatory and other damages set forth herein and/or seeks in lieu of reinstatement, front pay damages."