Sheriff’s Office Faces Lawsuit Over White Employee’s Discrimination Claims
Yes, a white employee can file a lawsuit against their employer for racial discrimination. The Florida Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause apply to all individuals who are currently employed. While the vast majority of these lawsuits are filed by black employees, there is no rule that states that the employee must be a member of a minority demographic.
A Gainesville employee of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office alleges that he was passed over for a promotion based on his race. He is a white employee. The Sheriff’s Office is currently scheduled for depositions related to this racial discrimination lawsuit. The plaintiff claims he was passed over for a promotion because of his race. He further claims other white employees of the sheriff’s department were passed over for promotions based on their race. He says he was due to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant, but a black employee was promoted over him.
Understanding the lawsuit
Employers must abide by certain stipulations of both the federal and state of Florida Civil Rights Acts. That means that race cannot be a consideration when promoting or hiring a new employee. In cases where race does play an obvious factor, the plaintiff can file a lawsuit against their employer alleging racial discrimination. Most of these lawsuits are filed by black employees. However, the power structure of an agency plays a significant role in determining how these lawsuits play out. In the aforementioned lawsuit, the plaintiff had black superiors. Since he is white, he was in a position where his black superiors had the choice to promote him or another police officer to the rank of lieutenant. He claims that his superiors chose a black employee over him because he was white. He believes that racial discrimination was a part of that decision-making process.
How can he prove his case?
In a case like this, his attorney would look at his history with the department against the employee who allegedly received a promotion instead of him. If he has the better qualifications to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant and he was passed up for a promotion, he can allege that racial discrimination was a factor in the decision-making process. This can be difficult to prove but not impossible. A jury would look at the credentials of the employee who was passed up for the promotion against the credentials of the employee who actually received the promotion. If there is a pattern of promoting black officers over white officers, the plaintiff will make note of that as well.
The defendants will likely claim that their decision-making process was not based on race at all and the employee who received the promotion may not have as much time served as the employee who was passed up for the promotion, but that employee is more qualified to take the position than the plaintiff.
Talk to a Tampa Racial Discrimination Lawyer Today
Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC represents the interests of employees who have been the victim of racial discrimination in the workplace. Call our Tampa employment lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your claim immediately.