Florida State Courts will implement anti-retaliation policies and training and pay $160,000 in damages to a former employee who experienced retaliation.
The department concluded that the Florida Court unlawfully terminated the employee for assisting a limited English proficient (LEP) court user with an interpreter request and for assisting an advocate who filed a Justice Department Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 complaint about language access services.
The Justice Department found that the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida retaliated against a former employee in violation of Title VI, which prohibits race, color or national origin discrimination by recipients of federal financial assistance and prohibits retaliation against individuals who engage in Title VI protected activity, such as filing a complaint or participating in an investigation.
“This settlement sends a message that those who speak up for fundamental civil rights, like the right of meaningful access to our judicial system, must be able to do so without fear of reprisal,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously investigate allegations of retaliation against individuals who courageously stand up to hold others accountable for compliance with the laws we enforce. I commend the Florida State Courts System for committing to address this unlawful retaliation and prevent its recurrence.”
Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its website at http://www.justice.gov/crt, and information about limited English proficiency and Title VI is available at http://www.lep.gov. Members of the public may report possible civil rights violations at https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/.