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Employment discrimination: Delta city clerk wins back job

Employment discrimination claims in Colorado can arise as a result of a plethora of circumstances. When criminal charges are filed against an individual, particularly a public employee, employment issues may become a concern.

The employee may face a hearing to address the charges and to determine whether or not the allegations concern the conduct of the employee while on the job. The stress for an employee defending criminal charges and, at the same time, worrying about losing a job can be immense. Further, even if the alleged criminal charges are dismissed, the accused employee may find it difficult to prevent discrimination that can lead to termination.

A Delta city clerk was charged with bribing a witness and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both felonies. Her husband had previously been charged with sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. The felony charges against the city clerk were dropped in January. The prosecution recently dismissed the remaining misdemeanor charge conditionally. She was, however, still faced with the burden of reclaiming her job.

After criminal charges were filed, the woman was removed from her city clerk duties and assigned other work by the city. Once the charges were dismissed, she demonstrated that none of the allegations against her involved any purported impropriety in the performance of her city clerk duties. One of the conditions to the court's dismissal of her charges was that she had to complete counseling that incorporates a safety plan for any children in her home.

The criminal charges against her husband remained unresolved.

Employees in Colorado have a legal right to employment free from discrimination and not judged for incidents that do not impact job performance. The Delta city clerk was ultimately successful in her attempt to retain her employment.

Laws and regulations in the area of employment can sometimes be confusing, and each case must be judged singularly. Many people find that enlisting the aid of attorney knowledgeable in discrimination and employment law provides peace of mind as proceedings play out.

Source: Delta County Independent, "Newlson reinstated as Delta city clerk," Pat Sunderland, 20 July 2011

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