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Workplace discrimination claim results in a $115K settlement

It is expected that most Texas workers know how to conduct themselves in their workplaces and speak in manners that are not offensive to others. According to an out-of-state case filed by an accountant at a municipal utility department, not everyone pays attention to what they say. She alleges that she was the victim of workplace discrimination due to comments that were made to her by the city manager.

The plaintiff claims her superior would make derogatory racial remarks. In one instance, he allegedly suggested that she change her computer login to reflect her ethnicity. The city contends that the plaintiff never brought her complaint forward, as is outlined in the city's policy, and that she took what was said to her out of context. Nonetheless, a complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and it determined that her rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act were violated.

After she filed her complaint, she maintains that her work environment became hostile, which prompted her to have another complaint filed on her behalf by the EEOC. The plaintiff continued to work for the city after her second filing. The city did conduct an internal investigation but determined that there were not enough witnesses or evidence to support the claims.

A federal judge first ordered mediation, but it was unsuccessful, resulting in a settlement. The plaintiff was awarded $115,000 for her workplace discrimination suit, but she was required to voluntarily resign. Dealing with a hostile work environment can cause unnecessary stress and mental anguish that Texas employees need not be forced to suffer. Those who are dealing with discrimination should not fear coming forward to have their complaints heard and hopefully handled. Situations that are not resolved may result in the need for the workers to take legal actions.

Source:, "Mascotte settles discrimination lawsuit for $115K", Roxanne Brown, Oct. 9, 2015

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