Kansas county settles discrimination lawsuit with $22K

June 24, 2022 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Sedgwick County has agreed to pay $22,000 to a former employee to settle his racial discrimination lawsuit.

David Partridge, who is biracial, sued the county last year, saying a coworker on a county work crew called him “boy” or the “colored guy” and sang slavery-era songs with his name added to the lyrics. Partridge’s lawsuit said he worked from December 2019 to August 2021 as a county bridge crewman and was subjected to a racially hostile work environment by his white crew chief.

Partridge said that after he complained, the county determined its racial discrimination policy had been violated, and Partridge was promised he would not have to return to the same work crew. But Partridge said he was denied a different position, offered a third with a lower salary and ultimately fired for refusing to return to the original work crew.

Attorneys for Partridge and the county informed a judge Wednesday of the settlement, the Wichita Eagle reported. Partridge had originally sought $75,000.

An attorney for the county, Jennifer Hill, said that as part of the settlement, Partridge agreed not to reapply for any open jobs with the county.