48-year-old Kansas City woman filed an employee discrimination lawsuit against the Riverside Police Department.
Jennifer McBrayer filed the lawsuit under the Missouri Human Rights Act, which allows employees facing discrimination in the workplace to pursue court remedy. According to the lawsuit, McBrayer has served as a dispatcher for the police department for the past 16-years. A few years back, she applied and was offered a job promotion as a communications supervisor with the Riverside Police Department.
According to the lawsuit, less than two months later, McBrayer received notification that funding for the communications supervisor position was held up by the current budget cycle, preventing her from securing the position. In the meantime, any applicants that had applied for the position would continue to have eligibility status. If funding was restored, allegedly those who remained on the eligibility listing could fill the position.
While the position was on hold, McBrayer was written-up for an infraction.
“McBrayer feels as if her supervisor wrote her up because she knew this would make McBrayer ineligible for the communications supervisor position,” wrote Mark Jess with the Employee Rights Law Firm, the attorney for McBrayer.
When the position became available about four months later, McBrayer was told she was no longer eligible for the position, according to court documents.
“McBrayer was told that the Riverside Police Department knew she had the skills and abilities to do the job, but she couldn’t be advanced in the same year as a reprimand,” wrote Jess in the legal petition.
The position was allegedly filled by a female applicant under the age of 40 with less knowledge, experience and qualifications than McBrayer.
On Nov. 3, 2017, the Riverside Police Department allegedly received formal notification that McBrayer was seeking relief under the Missouri Human Rights Act for alleged age discrimination and retaliation.
The lawsuit alleges McBrayer has also faced retaliation since exercising her rights under the Missouri Human Rights Act.
“McBrayer has been declined approval for vacation days she had requested off and she has lost cell phone reimbursement from the city, which she has been receiving for several years,” wrote Jess.
Additionally, the lawsuit alleges McBrayer has been denied overtime “based on discriminatory motives.”
McBrayer is seeking monetary damages for mental suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience and loss of enjoyment of life.
A jury trial has been scheduled for May 11, 2020.