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Former Fort Carson employee fights workplace discrimination

Since 2009 a former Fort Carson civilian employee has been fighting with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to hold his one-time supervisors accountable for workplace discrimination. The initial EEOC rulings in 2009 went against the employee, but he recently received word from the main EEOC office in Washington, D.C., that those rulings were being overturned and a new hearing would be held.

The alleged discrimination in the case included racially-charged threats, such as a hanging noose left on this employee's desk. The employee said he also suffered physical injury from completing tasks his job requirements did not call for. He reported suffering stress and health-related aftereffects from the discrimination. He is now disabled and medically retired from Fort Carson.

With a new chance to state his claims, the former employee hopes to prevent future workplace discrimination. He has gone so far as to refuse a financial settlement from Fort Carson to see the process through.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees and job applicants on the basis of race, color, gender, religion or national origin. In addition, discrimination based on a disability is a violation of the American with Disabilities Act.

Under Colorado and federal law, a person who has suffered from certain workplace discrimination must bring a complaint before either the EEOC or the Colorado Civil Rights Division before a civil suit can be filed. This must be done within 300 days of the alleged act of discrimination.

The details and procedures of an employment discrimination case can be complicated, but one thing is quite simple about discrimination in the workplace -- it is illegal. Whether before the Colorado Civil Rights Division, the EEOC or a civilian jury, Colorado residents who believe they have suffered from workplace discrimination should do what is legally in their power to stand up for their rights.

Source: KRDO.com, "Former Fort Carson employee gets new hearing," Scott Harrison, March 14, 2012

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