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Oregon Child Support Program, A Hostile Workplace of Harassment and Discrimination?

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wo recent court cases have been filed against the Oregon Child Support Program by former employees that suggest a workplace of discrimination and a hostile work environment.

On June 12th, 2013, Antonio Castaneda, Jr., filed a complaint of sexual discrimination against the Oregon Department of Justice’s Child Support division in Marion County. Read the complaint here.  In short, Mr. Castaneda describes a workplace where co-workers teased him about his penis size and he and female co-workers otherwise engaged in unprofessional and inappropriate conversation while at work.  Mr. Castaneda was disciplined and eventually fired for the behavior. His female colleagues were not.  Read the Oregonian’s coverage of the complaint.

Child Support

In April of this year, the Oregonian reported that a BOLI complaint had been filed against the Oregon Child Support Program by an attorney working for the child support division. The Oregonian reports, “[the claimant, also a case manager] became increasingly concerned about how well families were being served by the division, which she claimed tolerated a racist and sexist culture, according to her complaint.”  Also, the claimant reports that she was “trained to ignore state laws.”

The Oregon Child Support Program processes about $1 million a day in medical and child support and it is shocking to read of a work environment like what is referenced in the exposed court documents, particularly one that is supposed to be serving children.  Although, according to the Oregon Child Support, one of its main missions is to “return funds to the state treasury.”