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Local research foundation to pay $843K for discrimination

The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission is holding a research organization and its CEO liable for religious and sexual harassment and discrimination of a former executive director.

The commission announced the decision Wednesday finding that Kay Lorraine Bate was fired as executive director of Research Institute of Hawaii USA because of her religion and for complaining about the harassment.

The organization is a foundation devoted to historical research.

The foundation and CEO Christopher Damon Haig are ordered to pay Bate more than $843,000 in back pay and damages.

The commission says Haig’s harassment was based on Bate being Jewish and a woman.

Attorney Bruce Voss says the foundation is disappointed with the commission’s decision and wants to have the claims re-tried before a Circuit Court jury.

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