Georgia Commission Agrees to $110K Settlement in Reverse Bias Case

October 28, 2020

The Augusta Commission in Georgia agreed to pay $110,000 to settle the reverse discrimination complaints of a white worker who claimed she was mistreated after a Black man was elected as probate judge for the first time.

Commissioners agreed to approve a settlement of Angela Rice’s suit over her treatment by Richmond County Probate Judge Harry James on last week, The Augusta Chronicle reported.

Rice filed suit in 2014 against James and the city of Augusta after James demoted and then fired her from the office where she had worked since 1998.

A federal judge agreed with James’ request to dismiss claims of discrimination and hostile work environment, but the court didn’t drop Rice’s claim that she had breeen the subject of retaliation for seeking an investigation of possible discrimination.

The two sides agreed to settle the remaining claim earlier this month.

Rice contended James, who was elected Richmond County’s first Black probate judge in 2012, demoted her and cut her pay by $15,000 as he promoted two less-qualified employees to two top positions.

Rice filed complaints in late 2013 and received her first letter of reprimand in 16 years in January 2014. She was fired and escorted off the courthouse grounds a few weeks later.

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