by Carol Thompson
Employees of the Oswego County Clerk’s office have reached out to the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission in hopes of ending what they allege has been three years of bullying and abuse at the hands of management.
Four incidents last week were the last straw for the employees, they said. The EEOC will investigate the claim and, if founded, the county could be fined up to $300,000.
Two weeks ago, an employee threw a staple puller at another employee, hitting the employee in the shoulder. While an investigation is underway, the employee who allegedly threw the puller has been moved to another department.
Last Wednesday, the staple puller that was thrown at the employee was found in the trash. The employees check their trash at the end of each day to be sure nothing is thrown out in error. They said the staple puller was not in the trash when they made their inspection. The next morning, in search of a missing check, the trash was checked once again and the staple puller, considered evidence, was found.
Upon opening a desk drawer, an employee found a new staple puller, which several legislators referred to as an act of intimidation.
The following day, an employee of the county DMV telephoned two clerk employees to inquire as to what was going on in the office. The DMV employee allegedly reported she had heard a woman was taken away from the clerk’s office in handcuffs. The employees did not understand why they were being called and not management.
The so-called arrest story circulated throughout the county building for a majority of the morning, with legislators being contacted. The “arrest” was later said to be a hoax or misunderstanding.