Bias Case Ruling Upheld

The Los Angeles County Civil Service Commission has upheld a religious discrimination ruling against the Department of Health Services in a case brought by a Catholic who charged that she was harassed by Christian fundamentalist co-workers.

The panel, on a 3-1 vote, sustained a ruling it made in July ordering department workers to stop harassing word processor Gloria Lozano, who alleged, among other things, that an "exorcism" was performed by one of her supervisors on a fellow worker's desk to drive away "demons."

Lozano, 45, also claimed during her 17-day Civil Service hearing that a co-worker gave her a pamphlet that asked, "Can a Catholic be allowed into heaven?" followed by the answer, "No."

The ruling was largely symbolic because Lozano, a county employee since 1980, has been on a medical leave of absence since September, which she attributed to the stress induced by the harassment. She doubts that she will ever return to county employment.

But her attorney, Rees Lloyd, said it paves the way for a civil suit that he plans to file against the county in Superior Court.

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