As a follow-up to my article “United Airlines Ramp Supervisor Awarded
$3M Damages for Airline’s Retaliation to Her Discrimination Complaint,”
I see that an interesting alleged discrimination case has arisen in the
Puerto Rico office of the U.S. Attorney.
Juan E. Milanes, a male Assistant U.S. Attorney, claims that the office
of Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District
of Puerto Rico, was a “girl’s club” where male attorneys
were discriminated against and were faced with a hostile work environment.
In his complaint for damages and other relief, now filed in the U.S. District
Court in Puerto Rico, Milanes claims that when he was in the narcotics
unit, supervised by a female Assistant U.S. Attorney, he was subjected
to numerous acts of discrimination, and that his superior created a hostile
work environment. Milanes further claims, among other things, that when
he complained to the Acting U.S. Attorney, she retaliated against him
by denying certain benefits to Milanes’ children, when the same
benefits were given to her friends in the “girl’s club.”
Milanes also claimed that his superior assigned him the oldest and weakest
narcotics cases, threatened him with disciplinary action, and attempted
to sabotage his trial work. He says his attempt to transfer to Kosovo
was blocked by Ms. Rodriguez-Velez by the filing of a written reprimand
on the day he was to leave.
Milanes was placed on administrative leave and forced to resign, an action
he says constituted a constructive discharge. It should be noted that
only the allegations of Milanes’ complaint are outlined here. Ms.
Rodriguez-Velez’s version of the events has not yet been reported.
What is the moral here? Doesn’t the highest government attorney
in a U.S. possession have to follow federal law when it comes to her employees?
Is it not only businesses who sometimes fail to observe the law? Stay
tuned. I will be following this case with interest.
Kudos to Michael Doyle at
Suits and Sentences.