Former employee files discrimination suit against North Myrtle Beach

In the lawsuit, the employee described unwanted touching that created a hostile work environment.
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North Myrtle Beach leaders are deciding if they’ll extend the city’s Covid-19 state of emergency for 60 days.(wmbf)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 8:04 PM EDT
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Story courtesy of our news partners, MyHorryNews

A former employee of North Myrtle Beach’s finance department filed a lawsuit against the city on April 15, alleging in court records that she was terminated in retaliation for complaints about not being classified as a full-time worker despite working 40 hours a week.

Carolina Garcia, whose lawsuit describes her as a 46-year-old Hispanic woman with no religious affiliation, said she was hired in June 2016 as a part-time revenue business license inspector working 34-to-40 hours per week.

That same month, the suit said, the city’s finance director, a white male, subjected her to “unwanted touching” that the complaint describes as “harassing,” and which created a “hostile work environment.” The touching continued “throughout her employment,” the suit said.

Garcia’s hours were eventually increased to 40 hours a week, with her time split between the revenue department and water billing department, according to the lawsuit. Garcia complained to the city manager about not being classified as a full-time employee, which would have given her more benefits, but no corrective action was taken. No timeline was given for when Garcia raised concerns.

In September 2019, Garcia was disciplined for “minor work infractions,” that she said in the suit were pretext for discrimination and retaliation for reporting the discrimination to the city manager. The suit doesn’t describe the infraction or discipline.

City spokesman Pat Dowling said Friday that the city hasn’t been served with a lawsuit and that the city doesn’t comment on legal matters.

The office of the attorney representing Garcia was closed Friday evening.

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