Minn. county settles lawsuit with former CO for $150K

Jamie Berg filed a lawsuit after she was fired in January 2018, claiming she faced discrimination for being a single mother

By Katie Galioto
Star Tribune

DULUTH, Minn. — More than two years after a lawsuit was filed, the St. Louis County Board unanimously voted Monday to settle a case with a former employee who said she faced discrimination for being a single mother.

Jamie Berg, a former corrections officer for the county, will receive $150,000 plus money for taxes and mediation fees. Berg sued the county in January of 2018, three months after she was fired from her job.

Berg alleged she was unfairly dismissed for taking off work on Sept. 20, 2017, to care for her son, who was experiencing an "acute respiratory problem," according to court documents. The suit claims Berg was "targeted" and "harassed" for proof to validate her absence, even after she provided a doctor's note.

In its response, the county said Berg was fired "because of her repeated lies concerning her absence from work on Sept. 20-21, 2017, which caused St. Louis County to lose trust and confidence in her."

At Tuesday's board meeting, County Administrator Kevin Gray said the county agreed to the settlement "solely to avoid the burden and expense associated with any potential further litigation."

"It is not and should not be construed as an admission by the count that the claims asserted by this individual are valid, or that we are liable," Gray said.

A jury trial was supposed to take place this month. An attorney for Berg declined a request for comment.


©2020 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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