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Colorado House Minority Leader Mike May is accused in a federal lawsuit of propositioning an employee at a Holiday Inn in Casper, Wyoming, in addition to other harassment charges, although May denies any wrongdoing.
The suit—which recounts the experiences of other employees, as well—was filed in April but not widely reported by news organizations until now.
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A female front desk clerk says the problem began when she spoke to May, a co-owner of the hotel, about sexual harassment by other employees, writes the Casper Star-Tribune. He allegedly invited her for drinks, then told her she was doing a wonderful job and would be promoted.
But when she “declined to have a drink with Mr. May, he pressured her by asking ‘who signs your paychecks, and who is the owner of this company?'” He also asked her to spend the night with him in a room, but she refused, according to the suit, and was then denied the supervisory position the two had discussed.
The suit also claims that a company founded by May and Rick Hill, MARS Development LLC, which owns several hotels, retaliated against three other employees who complained of sexual harassment. Before filing the lawsuit, the plaintiffs logged discrimination complaints with the Wyoming Department of Employment that, May’s attorney points out, were subsequently dismissed.
“The Wyoming Department of Employment found these complaints to be completely frivolous,” May says in a statement (via Face the State).
The former employees, however, received “right to sue” letters from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for incidents in 2008.