Columbia shelter True North Inc. settles in harassment suit

Monday, June 6, 2011 | 4:01 p.m. CDT; updated 4:57 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 14, 2011

COLUMBIA — Domestic violence shelter True North Inc. will pay $103,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that two employees were punished in 2008 for reporting sexual harassment by the shelter's former director.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued True North eight months ago in response to a complaint by two female employees. The women told board members of the nonprofit organization that executive director Leigh Voltmer had touched staff members inappropriately several times.

One of the women was fired two weeks after the complaint, while the second was demoted and given a pay cut.

True North, formerly known as The Shelter, is operated by Comprehensive Human Services Inc. Voltmer resigned in 2009 and is now a local United Way executive. She declined a request for comment on Monday.

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