Thursday, June 14, 2012

Firefighter pursues discrimination and retaliation claims

The city of Houston, Texas was recently sued by a firefighter for race and age discrimination as well as unlawful retaliation, according to a recent report by the Houston Chronicle. Charles Julian, 69, had previously sued the city - and twice won - for discrimination stemming from his efforts to become the Houston Fire Department's first black fire chief. Julian alleged that he has received poor performance reviews in retaliation for filing the previous two lawsuits. Performance reviews are said to be one of the most important criteria in considering an employee for promotion and Julian claimed that these poor reviews are being used to intentionally prevent his promotion.

Not only is discrimination based on race a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but age discrimination is also illegal based on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. But the ADEA does not specifically prohibit retaliatory measures by federal employers in response to claims of age discrimination in a public sector job. It does, however, expressly prohibit such measures in the private sector. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has ruled that sovereign immunity is waived in retaliation claims made by federal employees under the ADEA. This essentially means that governmental immunity does not apply in a situation where a government employee is retaliated against for making claims of age discrimination.

If you have any questions regarding possible retaliatory actions by your employer, call the employment lawyers at Turkheimer & Hadden LLC.

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