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BOP Settles Employee's Retaliation Lawsuit for $35,000

David T. Lee was a GS-7 inmate systems officer at the FCI in Florence, Colorado when he applied to two GS-8 positions. He was not selected for either position. Believing the reason for this was racial prejudice, he filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

After the complaint was filed, Lee allegedly became the victim of workplace harassment. Prison management officials told a co-worker of his that, with a little time and paperwork, he could be gotten rid of. They also tried to get co-workers to spy on his personal life.

Prison management officials began to make derogatory remarks about Lee in front of co-workers and prisoners. They lowered his performance evaluation scores, demanded uncompensated overtime and increased his workload until it was unmanageable. He was placed on a one-year performance improvement plan (PIP). This made him ineligible for promotion and subject to dismissal.

With the assistance of Denver attorney Thomas E. Goodreid, Lee filed a federal civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. alleging retaliation for his filing the EEOC complaint. In July 2001, the BOP settled the case by paying Lee $5,000 and paying his attorney $30,000. The BOP also agreed to remove the PIP from Lee's file. See: Lee v. Reno, U.S.D.C. D. Col., Case No. 98-N-1452.

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Related legal case

Lee v. Reno