A Tallahassee firefighter, who claimed racial discrimination and retaliation, has agreed to a $300,000 settlement pending City Commission approval.
Reginald Brown was employed as a firefighter with the City in 1986. On October 8, 2013, Mr. Brown retired from his employment with the City of Tallahassee after being told that his employment would be terminated, effective October 11, 2013. Mr. Brown retired two years after his retirement pension benefits had fully vested. Mr. Brown claimed that he would have entered DROP in November 2013, and that his retirement was not voluntary, claiming he was constructively discharged.
Mr. Brown filed a lawsuit against the City claiming race discrimination and retaliation. Mr. Brown sought back pay, front pay, emotional distress damages, and attorney’s fees and costs. The parties reached an agreement, subject to City Commission approval, to settle all claims for the sum of $300,000.
City staff determined that damages and attorney’s fees, including relevant offsets, were calculated to potentially be far greater than the settlement amount if the case went to trial and a jury found in favor of Mr. Brown.
The $300,000 settlement includes a negotiated amount for back pay, front pay/DROP funds, emotional distress damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.
The mediated settlement agreement was negotiated with the understanding that it was subject to approval by the City Commission.