GALVESTON - Several pages of documents detailing alleged sexual discrimination inside the University of Texas Medical Branch were obtained by Local 2 Wednesday. Former Chief Financial Officer Bill Elger is accused of creating a hostile work environment for his administrative assistant.
Elger oversaw the finances and business operations for the entire institution. He resigned from his $581,400 a year job in September, several months after the allegations were made.
According to the employee, whose name was removed from the report, Elger told her she could get time off from work if she unbuttoned the top button of her blouse. There was also alleged talk of table dances, hugs and even kisses behind closed doors. All behavior the employee said, "was very uncomfortable and awkward for me."
In November 2012 the employee said she and Elger both got new cars and that he sent her a text message that read, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours. LOL."
The employee wrote that she was "shocked and offended" by the comment.
"I think everyone would understand sexual discrimination is not appropriate behavior in any setting," said Leonard Meyer, a commercial trial lawyer familiar with similar cases. "What she complains of is essentially sexual discrimination, which is prohibited by federal and state law.
According to the complaint, the employee went to the higher-ups at UTMB and told them what was happening. They began to investigate and a short time later the employee was let go. She feels it was out of retaliation. That's when she filed the formal complaint with the Houston District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The employee and UTMB eventually settled the complaint.
In a statement, UTMB spokesperson Raul Reyes said, "UTMB is forming a blue-ribbon panel to review UTMB's investigation practices and procedures related to internal personnel matters and enhance the processes of UTMB's release of public information. All this is in the spirit of greater transparency."
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