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The California Department of Parks and Recreation recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought in August of 2008 by a park ranger who argued that she was harassed and experienced gender and sexual-orientation discrimination during the six years she worked at San Onofre and San Clemente State Beaches.

Jennifer Donovan claimed co-workers posted obscene drawings and materials containing negative comments about homosexuals. She said they left underwear and sex toys in her locker.

The parks department didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing, but did agree to create a Women Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Task Force, which would include five members from various work classifications, including managers, administrators, maintenance workers, lifeguards and field rangers.

The task force is charged with improving gender, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender diversity among state park staff. During its four-year term, it will also promote visibility, leadership, recruitment, mentoring, training and networking for women and LGBT employees.

The department also agreed to conduct an internal audit of its equal employment opportunity processes to be completed within 12 months. Following the audit, the department will make recommendations for improving its EEO processes and procedures and will implement those recommendations within 24 months.

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