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Hernando utilities worker who complained of harassment is suspended

BROOKSVILLE — Jason Booker, the county utilities worker whose complaint of racial harassment by his co-workers last spring resulted in discipline and sensitivity training for all county workers, has been suspended without pay for five days.

Booker was suspended Monday for absenteeism and for being unable to substantiate a doctor's note he used to excuse a recent absence from work.

In addition, after the five-day suspension, Booker will be moved to a utilities job based at Kass Circle in Spring Hill and away from the Wiscon Road site.

Booker had claimed he was still facing harassment from co-workers. The new job will be a lateral move with no change in pay.

Human resources director Cheryl Marsden said Monday that the move is an effort to work with Booker and give him a "fresh start ... we're attempting to work with him.''

Booker will be on probation for six months in the new job and will have at least three coaching sessions through the Employee Assistance Program on appropriate behavior in the workplace. Any additional absences without a doctor's note will result in immediate termination, according to the memo delivered to Booker on Monday.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando utilities worker who complained of harassment is suspended 01/05/09 [Last modified: Sunday, January 11, 2009 4:37pm]
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