The Woodward News

Local News

January 16, 2013

Federal lawsuit filed by former City employee

Woodward, Okla. — A former dispatcher has filed a discrimination lawsuit in federal court against the City of Woodward.

Mindi E. Livshee is claiming wrongful termination from her job as a dispatcher based on religious discrimination, according to the lawsuit filed on Dec. 21, 2012 in the Western District Court of Oklahoma.

According to records filed with the lawsuit, Livshee is seeking  $100,000 in damages and has demanded a jury trial.

In the lawsuit, Livshee said she worked for the City from October 2005 until her termination around Dec. 27, 2011 as a dispatcher in the 911 communications center.

The lawsuit claims that on a regular basis during Livshee's employment with the City she was exposed to religious comments and written material from her supervisor even though the supervisor knew Livshee was Jewish and objected to being confronted with Christian religious comments and material.

The lawsuit also alleges that each month Livshee's supervisor prepared a newsletter that contained additional Christian religious comments and/or images.

"By its actions, City supports and promotes the Christian religion effectively disfavoring Livshee and her religious beliefs, as well as other non-adherents," according to the lawsuit.

The suit also claims Livshee's supervisor posted a religious picture and bible verse on a work monitor used by 911 dispatchers.

In the lawsuit Livshee said she complained about the situation, but the only thing that was actually done was that a Bible verse was removed for a short to-ime from the wall of the dispatch area.

According to the lawsuit, after Livshee complained she was subjected to additional harassment and disciplinary action, making her attendance and work suffer and she was eventually terminated.

In the lawsuit, Livshee said she received “Satisfactory” ratings on her performance evaluations throughout her employment with the City.

The lawsuit claims Livshee applied for unemployment and the City "wrongfully interfered" with her application.

According to the lawsuit, Livshee filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and the EEOC on Sept. 26, 2012 issued a notice of right to sue.

The cause of action portions of the lawsuit claim Livshee was subjected to discrimination, retaliation, harassment and a hostile work environment and was denied equal employment opportunities with the City based on her religious beliefs in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The lawsuit also claims the City violated Oklahoma's anti-discrimination statutes

The lawsuit claims the City knew of the hostile working environment and permitted it  to continue and that the City treated Livshee differently than other co-workers with respect to disciplinary measures.

The lawsuit is asking Livshee be granted full relief, including back pay, reinstatement or front pay, prejudgement interest, promotions, benefits, including but not limited to, unpaid medical, dental and life insurance benefits, retirement benefits and liquidated damages and emotional distress. She is also asking for punitive damages.

City of Woodward Attorney Aaron Sims said in an e-mail statement: "The City of Woodward is aware of the federal lawsuit filed by Mindi E. Livshee, however the City has not received service of summons in the lawsuit. The City will not have any comment or issue any response to the allegations in the lawsuit until such time as the City is properly served."

Livshee is represented Oklahoma City attorneys Kevin R. Donelson and Kelsie M. Sullivan .

The case is 5:12-cv-01411-D

1
Text Only
Local News
  • State board votes again to delay education plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators across Oklahoma.

    July 24, 2014

  • Winners of Cudd Legacy award named

    Three veterans of the oil industry will receive this year's Bobby Joe Cudd Legacy Award during the Tri-State Oil and Gas Convention on Aug. 7 at the Woodward Conference Center.

    July 24, 2014

  • Benefit gun raffles underway

    Woodward Reserve police officers and other Woodward full time officers have come together to support one of their own.

    July 24, 2014

  • Tulsa man looking for military friend

    There are times in everyone's life when you think back and wonder whatever happened to those old friends from your past.

    July 23, 2014

  • Zoning change approved by commission

    Monday night Woodward city commissioners unanimously approved a zoning change that was contested by one local man who was protesting because he wants the neighborhood to continue its residential growth.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tangier Reunion set for Saturday, Sunday

    When Barbara (Allison) Merwin thinks back to the years she spent in the classrooms of Tangier High School, it takes a few moments for her to recall how school life was 60 years ago.

    July 23, 2014

  • Traveler Majors take regional opener

    ALVA - The Traveler Majors continued their strong Connie Mack playoff showing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • County OKs road use agreement

    Woodward County Commissioners on Monday approved a final version of a road use agreement between a energy company planning a wind turbine construction project near southeast Woodward County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Camp to show art is everywhere

    The Woodward Arts Theatre will become a recycling plant next week.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairview Wrangler Rodeo turns 50 this year

    Western fun continues in Northwest Oklahoma as the Fairview Wrangler’s hosting their 50th annual rodeo.

    July 22, 2014