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VDC City Lawsuit

For Immediate Release
August 16th, 2023
Chair Michael F. Mirochna

On Tuesday August 15th, Lynn Gralik, the HR director for the City of Valparaiso filed, by counsel, a complaint against the City of Valparaiso, Mayor Matt Murphy, former City Manager Mike Jessen, Organizational Development Solutions, INC, and Desila Rosetti pursuant to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause, and Indiana common law.

In brief, Ms. Gralik alleges in her complaint that the City, at the direction of Matt Murphy and Mike Jessen,

  • pays male department heads over 30% more than female department heads based on the City’s 2022 wage study
  • ignored Ms. Gralick’s numerous notices concerning the gender pay discrepancy
  • took office space away from the HR department and gave it to male department heads
  • hired the Mayor’s cousin’s consulting firm, Organizational Development Solutions, LLC to perform an HR department audit without her input in order to retaliate against her after she objected to the lower pay for female department heads
  • retaliated against her because of her performing her HR duties as director in guiding other HR complaints against the City.
  • routinely kept her out of City of Valparaiso meetings, including those involving her department because the meetings were for “the guys”
  • Encouraged an environment hostile to women in the workplace, including, but not limited to only allowing female department heads to have “administrative” assistants who are paid less than the “executive” assistants of male department heads. More allegations lie in the full text of the claim which we will post elsewhere. This lawsuit is deeply troubling and intolerable. If the allegations herein are found to be true in the court of law, we will have been led by a man who believes that women are not equal to men and therefore should not be allowed access to the same power or wages. It will illustrate the ultimate failure of his leadership and character as well as lead us to question many trusted people in our city government who allowed this pattern of behavior to continue openly and without correction. There is no place in any municipal government for discrimination of any kind. We applaud the bravery of Ms. Gralik, a 23 year employee of the City of Valparaiso, to seek counsel in order to seek justice for herself and other women who were forced to work in an environment hostile to women. We demand a present, not a future, when women will be treated as equals in Valparaiso City Government with salaries that represent their worth, office space equal to their male counterparts, the same level of support staff that men receive and above all, the equal chance at opportunity to succeed. Female department heads should be paid the equivalent of male department heads immediately.