CHIPLEY – Washington County Commissioners are expected to recess from regular session today, Thursday, July 13, to hold a “shade meeting” to discuss a lawsuit filed last April by a former employee who alleges he was retaliated against after reporting what he states were “unlawful employment practices.”
The suit was filed in April 2022 by Stacey Brown, a Black man who was first hired by the County in June 2018 as a heavy equipment operator and terminated in August 2018.
The suit claims Brown was “subjected to disparate treatment, different terms and conditions of employment, and was held to a different standard because of his race.”
The complaint cited several incidents in which Brown said he was “treated differently than similarly situated employees who are white” and had been the subject of “hostility and poor treatment on the basis of his race.”
The County denied the allegations in its answering document, stating, “Any and all actions taken by the Defendant with respect to the Plaintiff were undertaken in good faith for legitimate business reasons wholly unrelated to the Plaintiff’s race.”
A mediation is set to take place in the case via video conference at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 27.
Litigation strategy is one of Florida’s few exemptions to the Sunshine Law.
Washington County News will continue to follow this story as it develops.