$1.7M harassment fine for harassment Dept. (run by Val Hoyle, now in Congress)

Taxpayer Association of Oregon

Val Hoyle’s total failure of leadership as the former head of the Oregon Labor Bureau (BOLI) has cost Oregon taxpayers over $1.7 million.

A Multnomah County jury awarded former BOLI civil rights director Carol Johnson $1.7 million for emotional distress and $9,170 in economic damages for the racial harassment and hostile work environment she faced at BOLI.

Hoyle is a current first-term Oregon Congresswoman who ran BOLI and hired Johnson to work there as the Director of the Civil Rights Division.

Oregon Live reported that Johnson’s attorneys said, “Hoyle…expressed support for Johnson but never investigated or corrected employees’ hostile conduct.”

After the jury ruled against BOLI, U.S. Rep. Hoyle’s spokesperson told Oregon Live (and we are not even making this up):

As a lifelong advocate for working people, Rep. Hoyle strongly believes that every person should feel safe and secure in their workplace.  Anyone who feels that they have experienced workplace discrimination should have the opportunity to speak up so we can address these issues and create an inclusive workplace for everyone.”

Hoyle ignored Johnson’s complaints instead of and living up to her responsibility to create a safe, inclusive workplace for her employees – especially as the head of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor.

Laws for thee but not for me.  Oregon businesses are required to comply with state labor laws, but the State doesn’t even follow its own labor laws.

And when government employees call out bad behavior in their workplaces, they are attacked and driven out of their jobs.

Back in 2022 we also covered the Oregon Legislature’s refusal to enforce its own laws regarding workplace harassment:
“Nate Monson, the former legislative equity officer, uncovered alarming trends in how the legislature addresses workplace misconduct. As the Capitol’s legislative equity officer, Monson was tasked with fielding complaints and guiding complainants through their options.

 After only two months in the position, Monson resigned and was subjected to a witch hunt for trying to fix the broken system.

GOP Chairman Baertschiger said, “Oregonians are growing tired of the double speak we see from Salem Democrats. They all claim to push for equality, but that bucks stops at their door if they become the ones subject to harassment complaints. We need a 3rd party to audit these processes and ensure complaints are heard and processed without interference from the political class.”