Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NY Prison Chaplain Administrator Charges Discrimination

Askew v. New York State, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3297 (ND NY, Jan. 15, 2010), involves discrimination charges by a Protestant Ministerial Program Coordinator (MPC) employed by the New York Department of Correctional Services. Glorya Askew is the only female and only African-American Protestant MPC. She claims her supervisors, particularly Mark Leonard, discriminated against her in favor of the Catholic MPC in assigning duties, offering job opportunities and speaking appearances and in relocating her from New York City to Albany. She also alleges Leonard told her that "[she] should never have gotten [the MPC] position because [she is] black and a woman." Leonard asked the inspector general's office to investigate Askew, and its report charges that Askew misrepresented outside employment and submitted false travel and time records. Askew says the charges are false. The court refused defendants' motions to dismiss many of Askew's Title VII, equal protection and free exercise of religion claims.