CLEVELAND – The plaintiff in a lawsuit claiming bias based on sexual orientation has collected a six-figure settlement paid out of taxpayer funds.
Shari Hutchinson no longer works for the Cuyahoga Support Enforcement Agency. She left her employment and received the payout to settle her 2008 claim that she was passed over for promotion because she is a lesbian.
Hutchinson sued the county, claiming bias — saying less qualified straight persons were promoted despite her having a masters degree in business administration. The county denied her claims. Currently, there is no federal law prohibiting workplace bias based on sexual orientation.
However, U.S. District Court Judge James Gwin ruled Hutchinson’s claim did fall under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Hutchinson’s attorney, Avery Friedman, said the case sets a precedent which could affect millions of workers.
Hutchinson will hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to talk about her case and its implications.
NewsChannel5 will attend the press conference and have a report on the evening news. Contact has also been made with Cuyahoga County Executive