Jun 1, 201202:46 PMDaily Biz Briefs
DoJ settles employment discrimination suit with Pierce County
The Justice Department has entered into a consent decree with Pierce County, that, if approved by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, will resolve allegations that the county discriminated against a female employee by retaliating against her in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Title VII is a federal statute which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion and protects employees who file complaints under any of those bases.
The department’s complaint, filed today along with the consent decree, alleges that the county, through its agents at the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer’s Office, discriminated against Administrative Officer Sally Barnes by retaliating against her because she engaged in activity protected under Title VII.
The United States alleges in its complaint that Barnes was subjected to multiple adverse employment actions between Jan. 22, 2009, and Nov. 30, 2009, including the loss of her administrative officer and other supervisory duties, exclusion from important meetings and information necessary for the management of her division and an involuntary relocation to an undesirable work location.
Barnes initially filed charges of discrimination and retaliation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigated the matter and determined there was reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred, referring the matter to the Justice Department.
Under the terms of the consent decree and settlement agreement, the county has agreed to award $400,000 to Barnes. In addition, the county is required to review and revise its Equal Employment Opportunity policies to protect its employees from unlawful retaliation and must provide training on equal employment opportunity law and its anti-retaliation policies to all of its employees and officials at the Assessor-Treasurer’s Office.