Former City Lawyer Files Sex And Age Bias Claim States Chicago Employment Lawyer Timothy Coffey

Law Firm Newswire



Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) November 22, 2013 – A former attorney for the city of Evanston, Illinois, filed an age and sex discrimination claim against her superiors. She was fired in retaliation for filing the complaint.

Tober-Purze v. City of Evanston, N.D. Ill., No. 1:13-cv-01503, 8/21/13 has some contentious issues in it,” remarked Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer not involved in this case, and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. “Not the least of which is that the plaintiff was allegedly also told that other attorneys before her wore tight sweaters, short skirts and were considered extremely attractive.”

According to the complaint, the plaintiff and other female attorneys working for the city were constantly subjected to offensive remarks and unequal treatment in the workplace, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964). The plaintiff and other older female lawyers claim that they were dismissed and replaced with significantly younger attorneys. The plaintiff claims that the city wanted to replace the whole office staff, including her, with younger people. In fact, two other legal counsel, more than 15 years younger, were hired to take her place.

Other attorneys in the same office were also replaced with younger personnel. As the female lawyers were in an age-protected class, their firing advanced a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). A federal judge has indicated the plaintiff may proceed with her sex bias claims against the city.
“Furthermore,” says Coffey, “the plaintiff was denied a pre-termination hearing and vacation and sick pay that were her due, according to the city’s employment policies.” Her work record included good evaluations of her performance and she reportedly had never been subject to any disciplinary measures before she was let go. She was ostensibly paid less than male counterparts and believes she did not get an opportunity to advance via the same promotional moves they did.

The federal judge has indicated there was more than sufficient evidence to move forward with a wage denial claim, under the auspices of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA), as the plaintiff was entitled to such pay, according to city policy. Not paying the plaintiff according to their stated policy amounted to the city breaching it. “The plaintiff was told she would lose 135.32 accrued vacation hours and the city withheld over 400 hours of sick pay, purportedly due to the fact that she did not give proper notice before leaving her job,” Coffey outlined, “an allegation on the part of the city that the federal judge found ludicrous, since she was fired without notice.” The only claim that the plaintiff was not able to pursue on appeal was the retaliation allegation under the Wage Act, as a private action for retaliation did not exist under the statute when she was fired in 2010.

“If you are in a similar situation, reach out and connect with an experienced employment attorney to assist you in defending your rights,” says Coffey.

Learn more at THE COFFEY LAW OFFICE, P.C. 351 W. Hubbard Street, Suite 602 Chicago, IL 60654 Call: 312.627.9700
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