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Senate staffer fired for having an affair with a colleague

A year ago, a powerful senate staffer was terminated for allegedly having an affair with the then-Senate Majority Leader. The staffer had not spoken about the employment discrimination that led to wrongful termination while the suit was pending in court. However, a federal judge waived the gag order for public reporting after the Senate members breached the order many times by speaking to the media.

A year ago, the staffer was considered one of the most powerful men in Minnesota politics. He held the position of deputy chief of the Minnesota Republican Party and communications director for the Senate.

Apparently, the Senate Chief of Staff, who was his boss, confronted the staffer last September about the alleged affair. The employee apparently admitted the truth and his boss spoke about moving him to a different position. The Senate Chief of Staff disclosed the affair to others, which made the staffer feel betrayed.

The employee, with whom he had the affair, was also asked to resign. She resigned the next day and the male staffer was fired 24 hours later.

Seven months later, the staffer sued the Senate for gender discrimination and wrongful termination. The staffer felt that he was treated unfairly because there are many female staffers did the same thing with male lawmakers but didn't lose their jobs. The employee also refused to comment whether the affair was still ongoing or not.

Employment law deals with civil rights in the workplace and commonly includes issues of gender discrimination. Being fired for having an extramarital affair with a colleague may fall under one of the employment discrimination categories, especially when members of the opposite sex were treated differently. The victim of these types of termination can file a complaint against the organization for charges of discrimination and wrongful termination. The employee can also claim lost wages, other monetary loss and defamation.

Source: FOX9.COM, "Brodkorb breaks silence on affair, firing after gag order lifted," Tom Lyden, Oct. 15, 2012

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