RI County Health Department employees come forward with accusations about supervisor

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A group of employees at the Rock Island County Health Department are coming forward with accusations about their supervisor.

“There is discrimination based on gender, race, nationality, origin and disability,” Elvia Ortiz said at the Rock Island County board meeting on Tuesday night.

“I am not here for me, I’m here to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s unacceptable,” Joleen Dihl said. 

The workers say their chief nursing officer has been bullying and harrassing them — and even sharing personal health information about her employees.

The group say they’ve taken their complaints to administrators — but things have only gotten worse over the last nine months. 

They say now it’s time to take their concerns public.

“They say, ‘Well, don’t be alone with your supervisor,’ or ‘Complain to another director,’ and it’s not good business practice to have them have to have somebody with them at all times instead of addressing the issue, which is the supervisor. Why is she allowed to harrass everybody?” Hilary Knott, nutrition site supervisor said.

The group says they’ve filed two lawsuits against the county — and have filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

They say one long-time nurse has already quit because of the harassment.

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