The former parks department director for the City of Willard has filed suit against the city and one of its aldermen in Greene County Circuit Court. In her petition, the woman claims she was wrongfully terminated because of her gender.

The woman had previously told a local newspaper that she had been terminated because some of the town’s aldermen believed she was homosexual. That claim is not a part of the filed litigation.

A specific dollar amount is not mentioned; however, the plaintiff is seeking an award for damages, including punitive damages in an amount sufficient to deter future acts, and attorneys’ fees, according to her petition.

She alleges that she received a promotion in October 2012 from sports coordinator to parks department director, only to be told a couple weeks later that the board of aldermen would have to approve the promotion. She was eventually demoted and her annual salary reduced by $4,500 when a “less-qualified male” was placed in her former position.

The alderman named in the petition allegedly yelled “aggressively” at female subordinates but not at the males. The petitioner also claims she received employee write-ups for alleged violations for which other males received no disciplinary actions.

The petition also alleges sexual harassment for the petitioner’s alleged violations of the City of Willard’s substance abuse and social media polices when men in comparable positions were not “similarly disciplined.”

The petitioner states that when she reported the discriminatory actions to the city officials, her employment was terminated that day.

It can be incredibly frustrating and demoralizing to be subjected to discrimination in the workplace. If you feel this has occurred at your place of employment, first document all instances of alleged discriminatory practices. Note dates, times, witnesses and other employees who were present.

If presenting your case to your employer fails to bring about positive changes, you may need to seek the counsel of a Missouri attorney who practices employment law.

Source: News-Leader, “Former Willard city worker sues over firing” Stephen Herzog, Feb. 19, 2014