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Clarion University Employee Files Complaint; Accuses School of Harassment, Retaliation

Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:06 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

Becht Hall. Photo courtesy Clarion University.CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – A Clarion University employee has filed a lawsuit against the university citing alleged harassment and retaliation.

(Photo courtesy of Clarion University)

Court documents indicate that Katrina Horner, who is currently listed as a “staff member” in the College of Arts, Education & Sciences on the university website, filed a complaint on June 15, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Clarion University for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

According to the complaint, Horner began working for the university in June or July of 2004. The complaint states that she started in a temporary position and was promoted several times, most recently in June of 2008 to her current position of administrative assistant.

On or around June 3, 2015, Horner filed a charge of discrimination against Clarion University which was resolved while the charge was pending in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The complaint states that Horner made claims pertaining to the human resources manager Timothy Fogarty’s conduct. According to the complaint, it was determined that Fogarty was negligent in his actions and Horner would no longer report to him and would instead report to the Manager of Employee Services, Shelly Williams.

The complaint alleges that Williams chose to retaliate against Horner by having increased surveillance of her and specifically instructing another employee, Lana McClune, who is currently listed as a “staff member” in the Department of Social Sciences by the Clarion University website, to watch Horner and report her hours to Williams.

The complaint also alleges harassment and retaliation including McClune refusing to copy Horner on emails necessary for the performance of her job duties; McClune and others allegedly mocking and disparaging Horner by questioning the legitimacy of her disability and accommodation; discussing Horner’s “settlement” even though Horner did not share details of the settlement and the settlement was supposed to remain confidential; McClune excluding Horner from department gatherings and affiliated events; and Clarion University’s increased surveillance of Horner by the Human Resources Department.

According to the court documents, Horner filed a complaint with the Clarion University Office of Social Equity after making several complaints to her supervisor that did not result in any corrective action being taken.

The complaint states that Horner suffered harm to her reputation, adverse effects on her career, and emotional distress due to the harassment and retaliation against her and alleges that the university took no corrective action despite receiving several complaints regarding harassment and retaliation in the workplace.

Horner is requesting a trial by jury and is seeking damages, including but not limited to all available compensatory damages, economic and non-economic losses, equitable relief, attorneys’ fees and costs, and punitive damages.

Horner is being represented by Robert Bracken of Bracken Law Firm LLC in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tina Horner (no relation to Katrina Horner), Clarion University Communication Manager, said the university cannot comment on ongoing litigation.

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