Male sexual harassment case against UTMB settles

David Yates Nov. 30, 2009, 6:00am

Rather than enlighten jurors on how exactly his female boss sexually harassed him, Erik Tolpo opted to settle his case days before trial.

As reported by the Southeast Texas Record last week, Tolpo's trial against the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston was scheduled to begin Dec. 2 in Judge Bob Wortham's 58th District Court.

However, a Jefferson County Courthouse employee informed the Record that the two parties settled Nov. 25 for an undisclosed amount.

In his suit, Tolpo claimed he was demoted and had his salary nearly cut in half as retaliation for reporting his boss's alleged inappropriate behavior.

He was seeking monetary damages for lost wages, mental anguish and humiliation.

The Record first reported on the discrimination suit filed by Tolpo in April 2008.

Tolpo complained about his employer's sexual harassment in 2006, and claimed that since then he has worked in a developing pattern of retaliation and discrimination and saw his salary reduced from $62,000 a year to $36,000.

According to Tolpo's original complaint, he was a state employee in the hospital's Correctional Managed Care Department. He was a practice manager until he was demoted on Oct. 19, 2006.

He filed suit alleging violations of the Texas Labor Code based on gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

UTMB was represented in part by attorney Jack O'Donnell from the office of the Texas Attorney General.

Tolpo was represented by attorney Thomas Peterson of Peterson, Petit & Peterson.

Case No. A181-529

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