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Florida sheriff's office faces discrimination suit

When someone has earned a position and has worked at that position for a number of years, they typically do not expect to have to file a discrimination suit against their employer. However, a public information officer with a Florida sheriff's office has filed a discrimination suit claiming she has been subjected to sexual discrimination. Her charge stems from reportedly being demoted and taking a considerable cut to her pay, despite her contention that she is essentially doing the same job.

According to news reports, the woman at the heart of the suit was hired as the Public Information Officer just after the sheriff was elected in late 2000. The suit claim contends that after the sheriff was elected again, he cut her pay and placed a man in her position that same day. The suit claims her pay was cut from $63,000 to $41,000, and she was reassigned as the assistant to her replacement. The pay of her replacement is said to be $77,000 - before and after his promotion to being the new PIO.

News reports indicate the woman is seeking reinstatement to her former job and have her pay back where it was. She also contends that despite the demotion, she still performs the same duties - only now with a portion of the pay. The woman alleges her gender is the primary reason behind the discrimination. The news article also points to a systematic belief that women have been treated differently or professionally stifled by this particular sheriff.

If the woman wins the case, she may receive her job back, along with the back pay she has been denied. When a Florida employer acts to remove someone from a position or systematically demote them without cause or warning, there may be a case for discrimination. A successful employer discrimination suit can help employees protect their rights, regain what they have worked for, protect their retirement benefits and also safeguard their reputations.

Source:, "Debra Johnson, Sheriff's PIO, Files Sex Discrimination Grievance Over 35% Pay Cut and Demotion," March 7, 2013

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