A federal court in Nebraska will take up a lawsuit that accuses the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services of allowing a supervisor to demean and discriminate against men in her department.
The lawsuit, filed last year by Mike Hoover against the state and two Administrative Services officials, was moved to Nebraska’s federal court.
Hoover, now of Dallas, says in the lawsuit that while he was employed in the department from March 2007 to February 2010, his supervisor, Amy Archuleta, discriminated against him and other male employees. The discrimination included obscene references made by Archuleta to men in her department and derogatory remarks about how “a multitasking woman can outperform a man anytime” and that women are better workers than men, the lawsuit says.
Archuleta also allowed women more flexibility to work from home than men and favored women for pay increases, according to the lawsuit.
When Hoover complained about discriminatory treatment, Archuleta was counseled “regarding the work culture of her team,” the lawsuit says. But soon after, both Archuleta and the department’s director, Carlos Castillo, retaliated, his complaint says.
Hoover said that he was placed on an improvement plan for not completing work assignments that other employees whose work was not completed did not face. He also said Castillo directed a supervisor to write up Hoover for alleged abuse of state computer equipment, which Hoover denied.
Hoover said officials agreed to remove all records of those allegations from his disciplinary file, but that Castillo had a co-worker monitor Hoover’s work.
“The treatment was such that he had no reasonable alternative but to resign his position,” Joy Shiffermiller, an attorney for Hoover, said.
Hoover, who says the state and the Administrative Services Department violated his civil rights, is seeking lost wages and damages for pain and suffering, punitive damages and attorney costs.
In its reply to the lawsuit, the Nebraska Attorney General’s office denied almost all of Hoover’s claims, although it did acknowledge that Archuleta was counseled about her department’s work culture.
Bo Botelho, an attorney for the Administrative Services Department, returned messages left for Castillo and Archuleta. He referred questions about the lawsuit to the Nebraska Attorney General’s office, but said the department denied the accusations.
A spokeswoman for the Nebraska Attorney General’s office said the assistant attorney general could not immediately be reached for comment.