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D.C. Employee Fired for Delivering Unopened Letter Settles for $30,000

On March 26, 2004, The District of Columbia paid $30,000 to settle with a Department of Corrections employee who was fired for attempting to have an unopened letter delivered to a prisoner. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleged discriminatory conduct and employee practices in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq. and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

In November, 2000, Plaintiff William Palmer suffered a work related injury that debilitated him and kept him from work for eight consecutive months. When Palmer returned to work, he was served a Notice of Intention to Remove for the letter incident. Palmer, who is black, claimed the move was in retaliation for an internal complaint he filed concerning sexual harassment of female employees by other employees of the DCDC. The case settled prior to trial for $30,000.

Palmer was represented by James Gross of the Chevy Chase, Maryland law firm Thyden, Gross and Callahan. See: Palmer v. Washington, USDC DC, Case No. 1:02-CV-02529.

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Related legal case

Palmer v. Washington