Albany HR director files complaint

ALBANY, Ga. -- City Human Resources Director Mary Lamont has filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contending racial and gender discrimination against her by city officials, documents obtained Tuesday show.

A Notice of Charge of Discrimination obtained by The Albany Herald says that Lamont is filing a complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging discrimination based on race and sex. The document is dated June 8.

Lamont, who has been working with City Manager Alfred Lott and staff to overhaul what Lott has called an "antiquated" personnel policy, said Tuesday that she was surprised to hear that the document had been made public and would have to reserve comment until she had an opportunity to speak with EEOC officials and investigators.

She did confirm that she had made a filing with the EEOC and that the document was legitimate.

Assistant City Manager Wes Smith, who oversees Lamont and the Human Resources Department, said that his comments on the matter would be limited because it was a personnel matter. He said that the complaint would be handled like any other received by the city and that Lamont would remain at work.

"Like any employee who feels that their rights have been violated, we will treat this complaint in the same way as any other," Smith said. "It will be handled fairly and it will otherwise be business as usual. We still have a city to run."

Smith did confirm that the city had received the Notice of Charge of Discrimination, but had yet to receive any actual complaint.

The EEOC investigates complaints made by employees alleging discrimination or retribution or otherwise unfair treatment by employers.

Following an investigation, the agency either dismisses the complaint or issues a "Right to Sue," recommendation which allows an employee to file a federal discrimination suit.