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Woman settles disability discrimination lawsuit against county

Both federal and state laws ensure certain employee rights for workers in Minneapolis, and throughout the U.S. Among these rights, employees are protected from workplace discrimination, including biases based on age, disability, religion and sexual orientation.

A woman who worked as a detention officer at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility reportedly claimed that she was the victim of disability discrimination, as well as sexual harassment, during her employment at the facility. According to reports, the woman alleged that when she indicated to a superior that she could not hear her radio due to a hearing impairment and requested the department to purchase her a device to help her hear better, she was ultimately told she would have to buy the device herself, after having been put off for a time. She also reportedly claimed to that co-workers sexually harassed her and management personnel ignored her complaints.

According to reports, after what she suggested was a retaliation firing, the woman filed a lawsuit against Yellowstone County with the Montana Human Rights Bureau. Although the county has not admitted to any employment law violations, they have reportedly reached a settlement with the woman. Under the settlement, the facility’s management staff will be required to undergo training sessions regarding workplace discrimination and reasonably accommodating employees when necessary. The settlement will also include a compensatory payment in the amount of $101,500 to the former detention officer.

If you feel, like the woman in this case felt, that you have been the victim of discrimination in your workplace, it may be of benefit to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss taking legal action. A lawyer can explain your options and answer any other questions you may have.

Source: Billings Gazette, “Yellowstone County and former jail worker settle discrimination case for $101,500,” Clair Johnson, Nov. 4, 2013

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