Florida Record

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Federal court dismisses discrimination complaint against U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


By Takesha Thomas | Sep 8, 2018

Florida Department of Veterans Affairs Dodge Discrimination Suit | https://morguefile.com/photos/morguefile/1/gavel/pop

TAMPA - A federal court has dismissed charges filed against the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for alleged discrimination. 

The U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida Tampa Division dismissed on Aug. 27 a complaint from former Veteran Affairs employee Troy Jackson, who alleged that he was discriminated against based on a physical disability, race and gender. 

The courts did find that Jackson could file a second, not an amended, complaint within 14 days of the ruling. Failure to file a second amended complaint within the time permitted will result in dismissal of this action, according to the court ruling.

Jackson claimed he was passed over for several promotions over several years. Jackson, who worked in the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Resolution Management in Pinellas County for more than five years, claimed that the work environment became hostile. 

Jackson claimed that his male manager, sent him a, "sexually inappropriate email" in 2007. Jackson, however, did not respond to the email, according to the complaint. He was then given a performance appraisal but not a performance award to which, he claimed, was discrimination. Jackson alleged that, "three of his peers, all women, received performance awards." 

In August 2008, his manager allegedly sent yet another sexually explicit email to which Jackson claimed he did not respond.

 According to court documents, "Jackson was not selected to fill a vacant position as an EEO counselor, nor did he receive a performance award. However, yet again, the suit contends, Jackson's peers did receive performance awards. Jackson claimed that in the year that followed, his manager retaliated by creating a hostile environment commenting on Jackson's "regular medical appointments related to his disability" in front of his peers. 

Jackson filed complaints with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Resolution Management. However, court documents say ORM, "dismissed some of Jackson’s claims as untimely, “but it accepted all of the claims asserted . . . as part of an overall hostile work environment claim.”

In 2017, Jackson filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs for discrimination. In his amended complaint, charges included that he received disparate treatment based on race and gender, and that there was a hostile work environment based upon his gender. 

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U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsU.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division

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