Federal Lawsuit Announced Against Delaware Insurance Commissione - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Federal Lawsuit Against Delaware Insurance Commissioner Alleges Sexual, Racial Discrimination

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Fleur McKendell. Fleur McKendell.

DOVER, Del. --- Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro has been named as a defendant in a federal lawsuit alleging racial and sexual discrimination against one of his own employees.

The lawsuit filed by Fleur McKendell on Wednesday alleges Navarro inappropriately touched McKendell's hair and made comments about her weight and weight. Navarro and a number of former or current state employees, as well as the Department of Insurance, are also named as defendants.

"I believe that I have a duty to speak out in an effort to end a culture that seeks to silence victims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation," she said.

Angeli Murthy, an attorney for McKendall from the firm Morgan & Morgan, also said during a news conference announcing the lawsuit that McKendell faced other unwanted behavior.

“When the new administration came in, Ms. McKendall suffered unwanted touching of her hair, unwanted scrutiny of her clothing, her fingernails, comments that were just not made to any of the other directors who were not of color or not women,” she said.

Attorneys say McKendell also faced retaliation in the form of denied requests for travel, exclusion from meetings, and increased scrutiny over her job performance after she filed complaints and then speaking out to media outlets like WBOC about alleged discrimination and harassment.

Navarro said in a Wednesday afternoon statement that he had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment on personnel issues.

"I can say with certainty, however, that the Department respects and values all of our employees," he said. "As the Insurance Commissioner and the leader of this Department, I do not and will not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or retaliation of any kind against any Department employee."

 

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