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Employee alleges employment discrimination, wrongful termination

Many people have enjoyable work experiences; however, sometimes, that isn't the case. Minneapolis workers may be interested to know that in late November of this year, an Iowa woman who once worked as a corrections officer filed a federal employment discrimination suit against her county and its jail administrator and sheriff. The former employee claims she was made to work in a hostile work environment and was a victim of workplace retaliation, gender discrimination and wrongful termination in August 2011.

The lawsuit seeks reinstatement, back and front pay, emotional damages, damages for loss of pay and benefits, punitive damages and attorneys' fees.

The employee was hired in 2005 as a full-time jailer but was fired six years later for making remarks to a co-worker about her treatment and for writing comments about one of the defendants on Facebook, according to the defendants.

The former employee maintains that gender discrimination and disability from a workplace accident were factors in her termination. She had taken leave due to the injuries but was terminated when she returned.

The plaintiff has cited 16 examples of gender discrimination. According to the lawsuit, she was reprimanded for using her cell phone at work and for looking for a babysitter using her official email. The employee has alleged that other staff members used their cellphones while at work without any action against them.

A judge has denied the former employee's appeal for unemployment benefits because the comments posted by the former employee on Facebook were unprofessional, inappropriate and disrespectful. The employee's attorney has requested a judicial review regarding the employment board's decision.

Minneapolis workers who believe they may have been wrongfully terminated because of gender or who face a hostile work environment may have a valid lawsuit. An experienced employment law attorney can help workers assess their situation and determine if their employers violated state or federal laws.

Source: globegazette.com, "Former county employee files federal lawsuit," Deb Nicklay, Nov. 28, 2012

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