Hearing set in Senate discrimination case
A federal judge has scheduled a hearing Nov. 30 in a case filed by the Florida Senate after allegations by a legislative aide that she was a victim of sexual harassment and retaliation.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle this week scheduled the hearing after canceling arguments that had been planned for Nov. 8, according to an online docket.
Legislative aide Rachel Perrin Rogers filed a discrimination complaint in January with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Senate filed a lawsuit in Hinkle’s court seeking a preliminary injunction to block an administrative law judge from requiring the Senate’s participation in the EEOC case.
The Senate contends, in part, that it is protected by the legal doctrine of sovereign immunity, though EEOC lawyers are fighting the Senate on the issue.
In canceling the scheduled Nov. 8 hearing, Hinkle pointed to questions about whether he or an appeals court should consider the matter. He said he wanted to allow time for both sides to file briefs on the “jurisdiction” issue. Perrin Rogers was at the center of a sexual-harassment investigation late last year that led to the resignation of powerful Sen. Jack