Attorney: Hamer could open MCS up to more harassment claims - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Attorney: Hamer could open MCS up to more harassment claims

(WMC-TV) – Former Memphis City Schools Deputy Superintendent Irving Hamer resigned amid a scandal involving sexual harassment allegations from a co-worker.

However, he could work until the end of April and it would be in the same building with the woman he's accused of harassing.

The district found that Hamer violated its sexual harassment policy and yet he was asked to come back to work next month to tie up loose ends.

Hamer resigned this week after being suspended for making inappropriate comments about an executive secretary's breasts at an office gathering outside the workplace.

"Mr. Hamer certainly did everybody a favor by tendering his resignation, by moving on and letting everybody else move on," said labor attorney Allan Crone.

Crone also commends the district for quickly reacting to the harassment complaint.

And while it's perfectly legal, Crone finds it uncommon that Hamer would return to work for one month in the same building with his accuser.

"I think they do open themselves up to allegations of false accusations, potential retaliation, other things like that, by having him on the premises for a month," he said.

Hamer's accuser does not have to report to him directly but she, and other female employees who do, will not have a say on whether they are comfortable with his temporary return to the office.

"He should go about his business professionally," Crone said. "You know, that is a risk that the employer takes by allowing him to come back."

A spokesperson for the district was asked if there was a plan to protect Hamer's victim when he returns to work.

"We will handle that when she gets back," the spokesperson said. "What that is, I don't know."

The district has made it clear that a repeat of Hamer's behavior will not be tolerated.

Crone suggests Hamer be on best behavior during his final days on the job.

"Anything you do at this point, no matter what your intentions are, could be misinterpreted," he said.

The district gave Hamer's accuser some time off to cope with the ordeal. It's not clear when she will return to work.

Hamer is currently serving a three week unpaid suspension and will not receive a pension or severance package.

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