Brevard County in Florida will pay a Black woman who was fired without reason from her job at the county tourism office in 2015, $150,000 under the terms of the recent settlement agreement.
Deidre Jackson was fired by her manager Eric Garvey, a white man, in 2015. Prior to the termination of her employment at the tourism office, Garvey had not noted any problems with Jackson’s work.
Court filings indicate that Garvey “noticeably avoided interacting with [Jackson] during the work day.” He reportedly fired Jackson in 2015 with no advance notice, just six months after he began working at the office. Jackson had worked at the Florida Space Coast Office of Tourism for eight years, since 2007. A federal complaint said that Jackson had a “exemplary work record.”
However, Garvey reportedly told Jackson that she didn’t fit his “vision” for what he thought the office should look like, and asked that she leave the position in 14 days. Garvey also admitted there was nothing wrong with Jackson’s job performance. A complaint also showed that Jackson had never been disciplined. A white individual took Jackson’s place after she left.
After Jackson filed a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal government subsequently sued Brevard County after the case made its way to the Justice Department.
Although the county has not admitted fault or acknowledged it violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it has agreed to pay Jackson $100,000 in back pay and $50,000 in damages.
“No one should suffer the indignity of losing her job because of the color of her skin,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric S. Dreiband.
Jackson was fired shortly before an Asian American employee named Kalina Subido-Person was asked to resign after 25 years with the agency. After Jackson and Subido-person lost their jobs, the tourism office was staffed only by white people. Garvey left the office in 2018 and moved to a job in the private sector.