Three weeks ago, Theresa Farmer, a former paralegal with the Floyd County Attorney’s Office in Charles City, Iowa, filed a lawsuit against the County, alleging she was sexually harassed and wrongfully terminated by former Floyd County Attorney Jesse Marzen. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that the County has now offered to rehire Farmer, who was fired by Marzen in 2009.

The County’s attorney, Beth Hansen, thinks this is the perfect time for Farmer to return to work, because “Mr. Marzen is no longer the county attorney.” Hansen discussed two options available to Farmer:

Reinstating Farmer is one available remedy, Hansen said. If Farmer accepts, the Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $30,000 in wages and benefits.

The offer is unconditional, Hansen said, meaning even if Farmer comes back to work, she could still pursue her lawsuit against the county.

As an alternative, if Farmer rejects the job offer, supervisors are willing to pay her $50,000 to resolve the lawsuit.

Farmer must make a decision by February 22. 

Even not knowing Farmer’s current employment situation, I think this would be a tough call. The County admits there is not actually a paralegal position available, which could be awkward in a small office. And I don’t know how Farmer feels about going back to work for an employer she claims ignored her complaints of ongoing sexual harassment by her supervising attorney. However, in this economy, it might be hard to turn down a full-time job with benefits, especially if you don’t have an equivalent or better job.

Which way would you lean if you were in Theresa Farmer’s position? $30,000 in back pay and a job, $50,000 and don’t look back – or neither?

Source: Mason City Globe Gazette

Related Post:  Former Paralegal Files Sexual Harassment Suit Against Floyd County

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