Ex-Westmoreland County employee gets $37,500 workplace settlement
Westmoreland County commissioners on Thursday agreed to resolve a complaint by a former human resources employee at the courthouse who claimed a hostile workplace forced her to retire in 2017.
Assistant county solicitor David Regoli said a complaint filed by Deborah Liprando with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was settled for $37,500 after mediation earlier this year.
Liprando, a county employee since 1991, worked as a human resources coordinator and earned an annual salary of $47,267 when she retired in September 2017.
Regoli said Liprando named the county as the lone defendant in her case but that Felice Associates of Greensburg, the private company that ran the human resources department until last year, agreed to pay the settlement.
“There was no admission of wrongdoing,” said company owner John Felice. “She alleged that our employee, his behavior led to her discharge.”
No other details were available.
Felice’s firm was originally hired in 2014 to oversee the county’s human resources department. A company employee worked full-time at the courthouse and served as the director of the office, which included a staff of county workers, including Liprando.
Commissioners terminated the $191,000 annual contract with Felice last year and hired a new in-house human resources director. A month later, commissioners awarded Felice’s company a new contract that pays $108,000 this year to consult on labor relations, union negotiations and to support the county’s human resources department.
Commissioner Ted Kopas, who for years lobbied against Felice’s relationship with the human resources department and voted against the company’s new consulting contract, said the EEOC settlement was emblematic of the company’s work for the county.
“It’s the final insult of the failed experiment,” Kopas said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .