DOROTHY A. ABBAS, Complainant,




CITY OF HAMPTON, Respondent.



This matter came before the Iowa Civil Rights Commission on the complaint filed by Dorothy Abbas against the Respondents City of Hampton, Kenneth Herwig, City Clerk, and the Mayor and City Council of Hampton, Iowa alleging retaliation for filing a prior complaint. The retaliation complaint was voluntarily dismissed against all Respondents except the City of Hampton prior to the hearing.

Complainant Abbas alleges that, after filing a sex discrimination complaint, her work assignments were steadily diminished, she was placed under increased scrutiny, and she was threatened with a lawsuit because she filed the complaint. She also alleged that her position was reduced to part-time status in retaliation for her filing of the sex discrimination complaint, with a consequent loss of employee benefits and reduction of her hourly wage. Also tried during the course of the hearing was the closely related issue of whether Ken Herwig and his wife began to refrain from speaking to Complainant Abbas at work and to withhold information from her which she needed to perform her work.

A public hearing on this complaint was held on July 15-16, 1991 before the Honorable Donald W. Bohlken, Administrative Law Judge, at the Franklin County Courthouse in Hampton, Iowa. The Respondent was represented by Charles W. McManigal, Attorney at Law. The Iowa Civil Rights Commission was represented by Rick Autry, Assistant Attorney General. The Complainant, Dorothy Abbas, was not represented by counsel.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission's post-hearing brief in this case was filed on January 16, 1992. The Respondent's brief was filed on January 17, 1992.

The findings of fact and conclusions of law are incorporated in this contested case decision in accordance with Iowa Code § 17A.16(1) (1991). The findings of fact are required to be based solely on evidence in the record and on matters officially noticed in the record. Id. at 17A.12(8). Each conclusion of law must be supported by legal authority or reasoned opinion. Id. at 17A.16(1).

The Iowa Civil Rights Act requires that the existence of retaliation be determined in light of the record as a whole. See Iowa Code § 601A.15(8) (1991). Therefore, all evidence in the record and matters officially noticed have been carefully reviewed. The use of supporting transcript and exhibit references should not be interpreted to mean that contrary evidence has been overlooked or ignored. In considering witness credibility, the Administrative Law Judge has carefully scrutinized all testimony, the circumstances under which it was given, and the evidence bolstering or detracting from the believability of each witness. Due consideration has been given to the state of mind and demeanor of each witness while testifying, his or her opportunity to observe and accurately relate the matters discussed, the basis for any opinions given by the witness, whether the testimony has in any meaningful or significant way been supported or contradicted by other testimony or documentary evidence, any bias or prejudice of each witness toward the case, and the manner in which each witness will be affected by a particular decision in the case.


Abbas Main