NEW ROADS- A longtime employee in Pointe Coupee Parish slapped the police jury with a federal lawsuit alleging discrimination and retaliation.
Sylvester Platt was hired in 1994, and claims just last year he was passed over for at least four promotions. The lawsuit claims the positions were given to less qualified white workers. Platt is African American and works in the maintenance yard.
Police Jury President Cornell Dukes said discrimination is not tolerated.
"We work very hard, myself and the other jurors, to foster a non discriminatory practice here at our agency," Dukes said. "Because we don't like the look of it, it's not what we want for our agency."
The lawsuit claims Platt filed grievances with the EEOC which reviewed aspects of the case and gave him the green light to sue.
Platt's attorney declined our request to have his client interviewed about the alleged discrimination and retaliation he claims his client endured. However, he did say that his client is still working for the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury as this litigation plays out.
"We want to be fair to our employees and to the taxpayers and to our agency," Dukes said.
But, fairness is not what Platt claims he's received in the parish. The lawsuit goes on to say, "defendant is denying plaintiff promotional opportunities in retaliation for plaintiff's complaints against racial discrimination in his employment."
Currently, Dukes said the parish's labor attorney is reviewing the case. An answer must be filed within 21 days. A failed response will automatically result in a default judgment against the parish.
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