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Texas police officers win $1.5M workplace discrimination suit

The city of Austin is now required to pay $1.5 million to settle discrimination claims of former officers. The officers formerly worked with the parks police, airport police and municipal court. The individuals initiated their workplace discrimination claims, asserting that they had been treated unfairly due to their ages.

The litigants alleged that, after their departments had been absorbed by the Austin Police Department -- an action that occurred in 2009 -- their new ranks were not determined appropriately. They alleged that their ranks were negatively affected because of their ages. A total of 29 Texas employees will benefit from and share the $1.5 million award.

The settlement was ruled on by the Third District Court of Appeals in Texas. However, the city of Austin may still be permitted to appeal the ruling to a higher court -- namely, the Texas Supreme Court. Whether the city will choose to appeal the ruling, however, remains to be seen. The decision to appeal is one that requires weighing the cost of further litigation verses the potential for achieving a better result.

Employees in Texas face a variety of workplace discrimination problems. Whether the discrimination relates to race, age, gender or religion, it can have devastating emotional and financial effects on its victims. Fortunately, federal and state laws protect individuals from workplace discrimination, and the victims can seek justice through filing and litigating an employment law claim. Justice dispensed by the court may include monetary compensation for time spent out of work, compensation for lost opportunity, attorneys' fees and other damages.

Source: kvue.com, Austin to pay $1.5 million to former officers in discrimination settlement, No author, Feb. 11, 2014

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