Sacramento City Hall Employee Sues City, Claiming Discrimination

SACRAMENTO (CBS 13) – A City of Sacramento employee has filed a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against the city.

Kimberly Isaacs claims she experienced discrimination and harassment on the job.

“Discrimination cases are very difficult to prove,” said attorney Jeff Kravitz, who specials employment and licensure issues. “To me, it seems somewhat vague. A lot of allegations are made but they’re not explained how they happened.”

Isaacs claims she was blamed for systematic problems in the Human Resources Department because she is African American. She claims that no white person was blamed. She also said she was demoted twice based on race and age. Additionally, she claims city manager John Shirey is “doing all he can to force me to resign.”

“What the person is saying is ‘X happened to me, therefore I was discriminated against,’” Kravitz said. “Well, that ain’t the way the world works.”

Tuesday night, the Sacramento City Council discussed creating a city diversity manager position after a report released to council this spring showed the city lacking in diverse hires. The person in the new position would develop an overall framework for diversity and inclusion in all city departments.

“When we take a look at the diversity numbers, and where they are currently none of us are satisfied,” said Rick Jennings, Sacramento Vice Mayor. “We don’t think it reflects what this city is about and what we represent.”

In the meantime, Kravitz said this kind of litigation could go on for years – so settling could be an option for both parties.

“It’s possible they might do it because of the cost of litigation and it also depends on whether or not these claims are valid,” he said. “I would be surprised if this were settled, but we’ll see.”

We reached out to the city of Sacramento, but spokesperson Linda Tucker told CBS13 that the city doesn’t comment on pending litigation. The NAACP is supporting the complaint, but Kravitz called that unusual for them as they typically do not get involved in many cases.

 

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