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Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers / Blog / Employment Law / Florida Municipality Loses Age Discrimination Lawsuit Filed by Police Officer

Florida Municipality Loses Age Discrimination Lawsuit Filed by Police Officer


North Port, FL agreed to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a former assistant police chief. The assistant police chief was terminated in 2017 and North Port agreed to settle the lawsuit. However, because they failed to follow through on a mediated settlement, the court fined the city an additional $50,000.00.

The city contended that they fired the assistant police chief because of insubordination. One of the cited incidents involved failing to speak with two officers after they ordered a police dog to bite a suspect who had already been tased three times. According to the police chief, he refused to follow the order because it would have violated the Officer’s Bill of Rights and internal affairs policy. The assistant police chief was terminated in 2018. à check year, up top it says 2017.

The assistant police chief argued that he had been terminated due to his age. He argued that the reigning police chief wanted him to retire at the same time so that he could fill the post with a younger candidate. He was also placed on paid leave in 2018 prior to the police chief’s retirement. The settlement required to city to pay the assistant police chief $100,000.00.   However, the court awarded the assistant police chief an extra $50,000 when the department failed to follow through on the mediated settlement.

Age discrimination lawsuits 

It is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act to fire an employee because they are over the age of 40.  Similarly, the Florida Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination against an employee because of their age, such when your employer wants to fill a post with a younger candidate. In this case, the defendants claimed the assistant police chief was insubordinate when he failed to discipline two officers for excessive use of force.  Nonetheless, the mediator employed by the parties was able to negotiate a $100,000.00 settlement.   As part of the negotiated settlement, the assistant police chief returned to work and then immediately resigned. He wanted to ensure that he left the department in good standing, which was an important term of the settlement.   He argued that because the department allegedly terminated him for disciplinary reasons, he was struggling to find new work.  Following the settlement, the city failed to file the required paperwork in time as required by the settlement. As a result, the city was forced to pay an extra $50,000 in damages to the plaintiff for its failure to uphold its end of the bargain.

Since it’s unlawful to fire someone on because of their age, most employers will come up with a disciplinary pretext to fight the allegations.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Age Discrimination Lawyer Today 

Age discrimination is illegal. If you suspect you have been terminated due to your age, the Tampa employment attorneys at Florin Gray can help you file a lawsuit against your employer and force them to explain themselves. If your termination is the result of age discrimination, we can help you recover damages related to the loss of income and other harm. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin advocating on your behalf immediately.



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