Bruce public works employee wins discrimination lawsuit
OXFORD – A federal jury determined this week the town of Bruce should pay $18,000 to a black public works employee after not promoting him based on his race.
A two-day trial led to Roderick Keith Gray receiving damages from the town of Bruce, which did not hire the longtime employee as public works director in July 2010. Instead, the town’s then-Board of Aldermen, comprised of three whites and two blacks, selected an out-out-state candidate, who was white, with extensive management experience but less hands-on work and without current certification for water and wastewater operations.
Gray’s attorney, Jim Waide, said Bruce leaders made the hiring decision based on factors outside of qualifications.
“The guy they hired had been in management but let his certification lapse,” Waide said. “You have to be hands-on in Bruce.”
After deliberating for 21⁄2 hours, the jury of seven whites and one black sided with Gray.
Gray’s salary was $31,000 annually when he applied for the public works director position. The town offered the job to the white candidate for $60,000.
In September 2012, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills of the Northern District of Mississippi ruled that Gray didn’t have enough evidence to prove his case; however, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision in July 2013, ruling a jury should hear the case.
The hired public works director left after about a year. Instead of promoting Gray to the position, the board split the director job into two separate positions, hiring him as water and sewage supervisor.
Bruce Mayor Rudy Pope, elected in June, attended the trial and has since spoken with Gray, who will continue working for the town.
“I told him to not even worry about it,” Pope said. “We’ll just get back to work like we need to.”
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to Press This! (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
About Floyd Ingram
- Sundancer crosses 2016 Solar Car Challenge finish line July 23, 2016
- Homegrown and Houston proud July 23, 2016
- Eaton Automotive finishes season July 26, 2016
- EDITORIAL: Testing our schoolsEDITORIAL: Testing our schools July 27, 2016
- Sundancer finishes first, again July 27, 2016
- Okolona trustees approve summer programs July 29, 2016
- Houlka’s Tyreque Reed name Legion MVP July 28, 2016
- County, city seek road costs for three streets July 28, 2016
- ICC valedictorian, salutatorian scholars named. July 27, 2016
- Mississippi Showcase features local baseball talent July 27, 2016
- Jim Garth Horn: Did I miss it or is there anywhere in the article ...
- Americasgone: They have a "no guns" sign on their door. If the...
- Americasgone: This has to be a joke. They have good employees an...
- Jessica Lacy: Leadershipprovides with the opportunity to lead. E...
- a: Cars with tags from 12 different counties can rout...
- RT @wcbiweather: The heat index has surpassed 100 in many spots today. Stay cool out there! #mswx #alwx #wcbi http://t.co/Lt2LRZTDcm 3 years ago
- RT @dennisseid: OSHA: 24 work-related deaths in Miss. last year http://t.co/lgEYYtK7ZR 3 years ago
- Speech pathologists work to better communication skills | Monroe Journal http://t.co/lyHLvb0OS1 3 years ago
- Mumford & Sons bassist has blood clot on brain http://t.co/4xNLMhxaif 3 years ago
- Mobile home fire claims one | Itawamba Times http://t.co/FHouwxbnsp 3 years ago