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Colorado sheriff sued for employment discrimination

Despite the great strides our society has taken in making workplaces more comfortable for everyone, some people still see discrimination in their places of employment. For example, one Colorado law enforcement employee is suing another on the basis of gender and age discrimination. The former female deputy in this case has filed suit against the Eagle County sheriff alleging that the sheriff compiled a "hit list" of "older female employees" who would be let go from their positions.

In a move that should raise a few eyebrows, the former deputy claims that after she learned about the supposed "hit list," she entered into an agreement with the sheriff. According to the terms of the agreement, the deputy would retire from her position following county elections in 2010. In exchange for her retirement, the sheriff allegedly promised her two years salary as severance; she was also promised insurance benefits for a year and a half and would be allowed to donate her sick leave to any staff member who may be suffering from chronic or terminal illness. The sheriff also promised her educational benefits, the former deputy claims. The deputy immediately began taking classes in preparation for a change in career following retirement.

However, despite their agreement, the woman was let go from her position in December 2010. She was replaced by a 27-year-old, whom she described as having less experience.

Now, the former deputy is demanding a jury trial and seeking both punitive and actual damages. She has a laundry list of demands, including a request to be reimbursed for court costs and attorney's fees, the option of payment with interest or even reinstatement into her old duties.

The former deputy also cites sexual discrimination as a result of details surrounding her job duties. She has stated that the sheriff treated her "disparately" when compared to staff members who were younger or male.

Source: Vail Daily, "Former deputy suing Eagle County sheriff," Randy Wyrick, Aug. 5, 2011.

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