Jury Awards $3.5 Million to Worker Who Protested Workplace Segregation

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A jury has awarded $3.5 million to a Black former Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services employee who maintained she suffered a backlash for speaking out against racial segregation in the workplace.

The Los Angeles Superior Court panel on Thursday found in favor of plaintiff Lorna Young on her two causes of action for retaliation. Lawyers for the county argued in their court papers that actions taken by the DPSS in connection with Young’s employment were for legitimate business reasons with no intention to retaliate.

Young worked for the county for nearly two decades, most recently as a DPSS eligibility worker, the suit stated. In 2012, the director of the Southwest Family District where Young worked purposely racially segregated employees, with one unit for Latino employees and the other for Blacks, the suit alleged.

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