Angela Payne is the former Human Resources Director for the City of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. According to her attorney, Ruth Major, Payne had received good reviews and had been told by Mayor Bob Ryan that she was the “perfect” person for the job. Then, after six months, she was terminated.
The City claims that Payne was fired after department heads approached the mayor with questions relating to her performance; Payne claims that her termination came after she rejected Mayor Ryan’s sexual advances. “The only intervening event of significance during the short period between the positive review and the termination was Ms. Payne’s rejection of Mayor Ryan’s sexual overtures,” Major said in a news release.
Payne, who is black, filed claims for racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The discrimination claim was dismissed, but the Department of Workforce Development found the charges of sexual harassment “believable;” the case will be heard by an administrative law judge who will then determine whether the claims receive a full hearing and possible ruling from another judge.