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Aug. 7, 2022

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Ex-employee accuses Ryan Hurley, Hurley Development of sexual harassment, discrimination

Lawsuit filed today also names current director of development and former construction director

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

A former employee of Hurley Development LLC filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the local real estate company, its owner, Ryan Hurley, and a current and former employee, alleging sexual harassment and sexual and religious discrimination.

Hurley, through his company, denied wrongdoing.

The complaint was filed in Clark County Superior Court by Colin McHugh of Navigate Law Group on behalf of the plaintiff, Jill Meyer.

The company’s current director of development, Scot Brantley, and former construction director, Vladimir “Vlad” Rakach, are also named as defendants.

Meyer, who worked as an executive assistant to Hurley, alleges she endured months or years of sex-based jokes, offensive comments and inappropriate touching, creating a hostile work environment.

Of the incidents listed in the 24-page complaint, Meyer contends that Rakach made lewd comments and actions toward women in the company. One example given in the complaint detailed a moment when Rakach allegedly laid on the floor acting out sexual positions during a company-sponsored happy hour at the office.

Meyer alleged Brantley made numerous unwanted sexual comments toward her. The complaint went on to argue that Hurley himself treated women poorly but men well, specifically accusing women of going through menopause and being “too feminist.”

“Women should never have to deal with this level of humiliating and degrading mistreatment at work,” McHugh said in a statement. “It is surprising that such well-known and accomplished local businesspeople like the defendants would let behavior like this go on for so long. Hopefully, this case will open the eyes of the defendants and help them understand how unacceptable and shameful their behavior was for at least the last few years.”

“Since its founding 12 years ago, Hurley Development has worked to make significant contributions to our community and has done so with a culture of inclusivity, respect and valuing all our employees,” a statement sent on behalf of Hurley Development read.

“We are devastated that false allegations have been made against the company and especially against Ryan personally. We are committed to defending ourselves vigorously and continuing to live out our value of respect toward our employees and track record of hiring and promoting employees based on their merit and performance at all levels within the company, regardless of gender or religious affiliation.”

Meyer left her position at the company in June of this year, after bringing her concerns forward but not seeing anything that appeared to be done, according to the complaint.

“On June 2, 2022, when Ms. Meyer approached Mr. Brantley about sexual harassment, Mr. Brantley’s response was to falsely accuse Ms. Meyer of starting a rumor about an affair in the workplace. Mr. Brantley then threatened Ms. Meyer, stating essentially, ‘be careful’ and that Mr. Hurley ‘doesn’t like complainers,’ ” the complaint reads.

The complaint alleges that Rakach was eventually fired, but not for sexual harassment.

Meyer’s complaint also contends that employees who didn’t attend Hurley’s weekly Christian devotionals were treated less favorably and missed out on important company business or events.

Meyer is claiming damages, including emotional distress, humiliation, lost wages and attorneys’ fees. No dollar amount was listed in the suit.

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