Thursday, May 8, 2014

POLB Loses Suit Filed by Ex Employee

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Long Beach was ordered by the Los Angeles Superior Court on April 29 to pay a former employee $1.1 million related to a discrimination case the woman filed against the city in 2010.

The former employee, Sharon Jordan, was the secretary of government affairs for the port until being fired in 2010. After her termination, she sued, alleging she was retaliated against for filing a discrimination report against her employer and for complaining about her job conditions.

Jordan, who was named the port’s secretary of government affairs in February 2008, had also worked for many years as an administrative assistant for the port, which is overseen by the City of Long Beach. She said that although she had previously received only positive reports regarding her performance while working at the port, treatment of her changed in 2008 after her husband became seriously ill.

Jordan said after that point, she was asked by her then-supervisor for regular updates on her husband’s condition, which was followed by criticism of her work and job performance and an unsuccessful attempt by her then-supervisor to demote her. Jordan took medical leaves of absence in July 2009 and May 2010 because of issues at work with her supervisor. She eventually asked to be transferred to another position, but was denied and then fired in July 2010. Her firing came several weeks after she filed a discrimination complaint against the port.

As a result of her termination, she lost her medical insurance; her husband died in January 2011.

"We're obviously disappointed with the verdict," said City of Long Beach assistant city attorney Monte Machit. "We're taking a look at the transcript to see if we will appeal."

Machit didn't say when a decision could come, but he mentioned that under state law, the city has up to 60 days from when a judgment is handed down to file an appeal.