Former Orange County Spokesman Settles Discrimination Lawsuit, Resigns from Position

GOSHEN, N.Y. – A discrimination lawsuit brought by a former Orange County spokesman against his former supervisor has been settled. Justin Rodriguez, who served as an assistant to the Orange County executive, will also be leaving his position. Rodriguez claimed that his supervisor, Harold Porr, created a hostile work environment based on his religious and ethnic background. His lawsuit alleged that Porr, who was aware that Rodriguez’s mother is Jewish and his father is of Puerto Rican descent, made derogatory comments and exhibited demeaning behavior towards him. Rodriguez refrained from making an official complaint out of fear of retaliation by Porr.

The lawsuit stated that the discriminatory behavior intensified in the spring of 2022, with Rodriguez citing various instances of Porr’s disparaging conduct towards him. After filing an official complaint, Rodriguez was informed by an outside law firm hired by the county that Porr had violated the county’s policy against discrimination and harassment. Although Porr was removed as Rodriguez’s direct supervisor, they still had to work together on a daily basis, leading Rodriguez to feel uncomfortable and subjected to disdainful treatment.

Rodriguez sought compensatory and punitive damages in his lawsuit and requested a jury trial. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed by Rodriguez’s attorney, Chris Watkins, who simply stated that the parties had reached a resolution. Additionally, Rodriguez has decided to leave his position with the county to pursue other opportunities. County Attorney Richard B. Golden declined to comment on the settlement.

The case sheds light on the importance of addressing discrimination in the workplace and highlights the impact it can have on individuals. It serves as a reminder that organizations must have robust policies against discrimination and harassment, as well as procedures in place for reporting and investigating such cases. Furthermore, it underscores the need to create a respectful and inclusive environment for all employees, regardless of their background.

As Rodriguez embarks on new endeavors, he expresses his well wishes to his colleagues at the county for the future. The settlement brings closure to this chapter, but serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for equality in the workplace.

Note: This article does not quote any news organization.