Orange County HR finds Brescia violated workplace sexual harassment policy

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L. Stephen Brescia

GOSHEN – An investigation into remarks made by Orange County Legislator and former chairman Stephen Brescia to a female county employee violated the county’s policy against discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace, according to an investigation by the county’s human resources department. The employee had filed a complaint against Brescia over his remarks.

A copy of the finding was provided to Mid-Hudson News by Brescia on Thursday. It strongly recommended that he review the county’s policy and receive additional training relative to discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

In his letter of finding to Brescia, Human Resources Commissioner Steven Gross said the lawmaker “confirmed that you did, in fact, make inappropriate observation and comments to a female employee regarding the appearance of her body, specifically her stomach.”

The findings stated that Brescia admitted to asking the employee, “are you pregnant?”

Gross wrote that Brescia’s action “was received as offensive and immediately had the effect of creating an offensive working environment for said employee in violation of the Orange County Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace; such is unacceptable, whether it be intentional or not by the perpetrator.”

Brescia said he released the findings letter so as to avoid the perception of a coverup. “As regrettable and embarrassing as my actions were, it is important to release the full report from the Department of Human Resources,” he told Mid-Hudson News.

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