After a recent failed mediation attempt, the former chief financial officer of Colorado Springs is moving forward with her wrongful termination lawsuit against the city.
The 24-year employee agreed to put her $1 million claim on hold after a request from the city attorney to first enter mediation. Simultaneously, the city launched an investigation into the allegations, concluding that they were unfounded and that the former official's firing was justifiable. However, she asserts that her employment discrimination claims have merit, and she is moving forward with the suit.
The case will now move through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission process, although the city attorney has acknowledged that officials are still discussing how to resolve the issue.
As noted in a previous post, when a person has endured workplace discrimination, he or she must bring the complaint before either the EEOC or the Colorado Civil Rights Division. This must occur before a civil suit can be filed, and it must be done within 300 days of the alleged act of discrimination.
Wrongful termination is just one type of violation that can form the basis of an employment discrimination suit. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants on the basis of race, color, gender, religion or national origin. Discrimination is not only wrong; it is illegal. Since Colorado and federal laws offer certain protections for employees, people who believe they have been victimized by workplace discrimination will want to be fully aware of their legal options.
Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, "Velasquez claims of financial wrongdoing without merit, city rules," Daniel Chacon, April 4, 2012