Mar 23, 2015

Former County Employee Elaine Kern Receives Settlement

Elaine Kern Receives Settlement From Castro County  In Workplace Case

According to the March 4, 2015, edition of the Castro County News, former Castro County employee Elaine Kern of Nazareth (who had been employed in the County Tax Assessor office in the Courthouse) has received a settlement of $28,750. This resolved a case filed in August 2014 by Kern against the county concerning a charge of workplace discrimination.

The settlement was reached on January 20, 2015, and the CC News filed an open records request to get the information. The vote on the settlement should have been voted on in Open Session of the Commissioners’ Court.

Kern, who had worked in the Tax-Assessor office under Pamala Rickert, then and current Tax A-C, ran against Rickert in 2013.  Kern ran in the Republican primary while Rickert, the incumbent,  ran in the Democratic primary. Rickert was re-elected in the General Election.

Kern reportedly alleged a hostile workplace and cited harassment, which allegedly forced her out of the office.

In the settlement, Kern agreed not to sue the County regarding her complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Texas Workforce Commission. She also withdrew the charge of discrimination filed against the county.

The  County Newspaper is seeking to determine if the funds were paid from the County’s general fund or if insurance proceeds were used.