Lawsuit by Joseph Greenwald & Laake Exposes Rampant Harassment and Severe Discrimination at United States Government Publishing Office

October 17th, 2023

Detailed Claims Include Anti-Semitism, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, and Transphobia Within the Federal Organization

Washington, October 17, 2023 — A groundbreaking lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia against the United States Government Publishing Office (U.S. GPO), unveiling a shocking pattern of hostile work environment, harassment, and discrimination.

Represented by Brian Markovitz, Michal Shinnar, and Mathew Hough of Joseph Greenwald & Laake, plaintiffs Sarah Hurtt, Joshua Crotty, and Jonathan Romain have fearlessly come forward to demand justice after enduring egregious mistreatment and systemic neglect of their rights as U.S. GPO employees.

The complaint, which names Hugh N. Halpern, the Director of U.S. GPO, and Samuel Mewshaw, a U.S. GPO employee — and the plaintiff’s disturbed co-worker — as defendants, alleges a pervasive culture of anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia within the agency. Nazi salutes, sexually explicit and derogatory comments, and vile racist remarks were just some of the repulsive behaviors that the plaintiffs allege polluted the workplace, creating an unbearable work environment.

Despite their repeated reports to management and many of the inappropriate actions taking place in front of management, no appropriate actions were taken to address these violations. This systemic failure to protect the plaintiffs from unwarranted harm and hatred is a stark example of the U.S. GPO's disregard for the well-being and dignity of its employees.

“This case shines a spotlight on the deeply alarming and distressing conditions that our clients have endured, including economic losses and significant emotional distress,” explained Markovitz. “The U.S. GPO, as a federal agency, has a responsibility to uphold the highest standards of equality, respect, and fairness and they haven’t. We will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of justice for our clients, and meaningful, comprehensive change within the U.S. GPO.”

Shinnar added, “There is no justification for allowing our clients to be harassed by a Nazi in the workplace. It is outrageous that GPO subjected our clients to this hostile work environment.”

Markovitz, Shinnar, Hough, and their clients are available to speak to members of the media about the case. Complaint is available to view here.

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