Former Pa. 911 dispatcher files lawsuit, alleges racial, sexual harassment

The former Cambria County dispatcher, who is white and the mother of a biracial child, alleges she was fired for reporting harassment

Patrick Buchnowski
The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. — A former Cambria County 911 dispatcher is suing the county, alleging racial and sexual harassment.

The civil suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by Christy L. Janciga, who is white and the mother of a biracial child.

She was employed in the Cambria County Department of Emergency Services from Dec. 2, 2019, until April 1, 2020, when she was discharged.

Janciga claims in her complaint that she was terminated in retaliation after she complained to a supervisor about alleged racial and sexual harassment that created a hostile work environment.

Janciga said that on Feb. 26, March 24 and March 31, 2020, she made complaints to Robbin Melnyk, 911 coordinator and deputy director of the Department of Emergency Services, about alleged racial and sexual comments by coworkers.

"The defendant's racial and sexual harassment of Janciga compromised her training to be a competent and proficient 911 Telecommunicator," Janciga's complaint states.

The documents further states that the racial and sexual harassment of Janciga was severe or pervasive in that she was repeatedly subjected to offensive, hostile and derogatory working conditions because of her race and her association with her biracial child and because of her sex.

As the result of the racial and sexual harassment, Janciga alleges, she "suffered humiliation, inconvenience, mental distress, embarrassment and ... loss of income and fringe benefits, loss of reputation and lost career opportunities."

William Gleason Barbin, Cambria County solicitor, said: "We do not believe or agree with the allegations that Ms. Janciga has set forth in the complaint. We strongly contest it."

Janciga is seeking reinstatement and compensation. She is being represented by Colleen Ramage Johnston, of Johnston Lykos, LLC, of Pittsburgh.


(c)2021 The Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown, Pa.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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