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Sunday, March 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Former Idaho Fish & Game employee files sex discrimination complaint

A former Idaho Fish and Game employee is charging that during the course of her employment she was consistently subject to sexual discrimination, a hostile work environment and retaliation, the Idaho Statesman reports. Danielle Dorsch filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, saying she was employed by the Department of Fish & Game starting in 2008, and in 2013, she was advised that her job at the Magic Valley Fish Hatchery was being eliminated, and her supervisor, while telling her she was being offered a lateral transfer to another state-run fish hatchery, asked if she’d ever considered being a “stay-at-home mom.” After an exchange with the supervisor, Dorsch said she filed a sex discrimination complaint, which F&G investigated, and then she was transferred to the Springfield Hatchery, where she was the only female employee.

Dorsch claims that her supervisors there treated her with disdain, and she documented what she considered a hostile work environment with audio recordings. She informed the IDFG human resources department in July of 2015, citing her recordings as evidence. The next month, the department told her to make no more recordings at work, on pain on termination. In October, she received a negative performance review based on her making audio recordings, according to the lawsuit, and in January of 2016, the department adopted a policy forbidding workplace audio recordings without consent from all parties. Dorsch charged that a male employee who also had recorded workplace conversations wasn’t sanctioned.

Dorsch charged that she was “humiliated and belittled” on the job, denied promotions, threatened and treated unfairly. The lawsuit includes an allegation that a male supervisor threatened to strangle her with an extension cord. Her employment with the department ended in March of 2016.

Dorsch is seeking more than $100,000 in damages. You can read the Statesman’s full report here, and the full federal court complaint here.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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