ILNews

Court deputy alleges discrimination

Back to TopE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A Marion County deputy sheriff is suing her employer, claiming the sheriff's department discriminated against her when it selected male deputies for open positions within the court system.

Rita Smith filed suit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. In her suit, Smith v. Marion County Sheriff's Department, No. 1:09-CV-1058, she claims the Marion County Sheriff's Department violated the Family Medical Leave Act, discriminated against her because of her sex, and retaliated in violation of Title VII when she complained about discriminatory practices.

Smith joined the department in October 2005 and was transferred to the position of "court line" deputy in Marion County courts in August 2006. After one day of working in Marion Superior Court 9 in 2007, she was replaced by a male deputy. Smith alleges the MCSD falsified information stating the judge asked she be removed from the court.

Smith also alleges that she was constantly passed over for open deputy positions within the court system and those jobs were given to other male candidates with less seniority. She was also removed from a court line deputy position in Court 17 in March 2007 after conflict with her male partner. She believes he should have been removed because he instigated the conflict and she had seniority.

She also had been told deputies wouldn't be allowed to move with their judges if the judge is relocated to another court, although several male deputies who wished to move with their assigned judges were allowed.

Smith claims the MCSD harassed her about not showing up for roll call even though she was on approved Family and Medical Leave Act leave and that the department retaliated against her for vocalizing her objections to sexist, discriminatory practices.

Smith wants the court to enjoin MCSD from engaging in further acts of discrimination and retaliation, and to promote her immediately to a position in a major felony court. She also wants payment of any lost wages and money suffered as a result of the department's alleged unlawful actions, punitive damages, payment of her attorneys' fees, and any other relief to which she may be entitled.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

  2. "associates are becoming more mercenary. The path to partnership has become longer and more difficult so they are chasing short-term gains like high compensation." GOOD FOR THEM! HELL THERE OUGHT TO BE A UNION!

  3. Let's be honest. A glut of lawyers out there, because law schools have overproduced them. Law schools dont care, and big law loves it. So the firms can afford to underpay them. Typical capitalist situation. Wages have grown slowly for entry level lawyers the past 25 years it seems. Just like the rest of our economy. Might as well become a welder. Oh and the big money is mostly reserved for those who can log huge hours and will cut corners to get things handled. More capitalist joy. So the answer coming from the experts is to "capitalize" more competition from nonlawyers, and robots. ie "expert systems." One even hears talk of "offshoring" some legal work. thus undercutting the workers even more. And they wonder why people have been pulling for Bernie and Trump. Hello fools, it's not just the "working class" it's the overly educated suffering too.

  4. And with a whimpering hissy fit the charade came to an end ... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/07/27/all-charges-dropped-against-all-remaining-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/ WHISTLEBLOWERS are needed more than ever in a time such as this ... when politics trump justice and emotions trump reason. Blue Lives Matter.

  5. "pedigree"? I never knew that in order to become a successful or, for that matter, a talented attorney, one needs to have come from good stock. What should raise eyebrows even more than the starting associates' pay at this firm (and ones like it) is the belief systems they subscribe to re who is and isn't "fit" to practice law with them. Incredible the arrogance that exists throughout the practice of law in this country, especially at firms like this one.

ADVERTISEMENT