A 61-year-old Elgin man is suing his former employer, alleging he was discriminated against and ultimately terminated as a probation officer with the Illinois 16th Judicial Circuit because of his race, age, sex and disability.
The 27-page lawsuit was filed last week in federal court. In it, John Bradley, who is black, is asking for his job back, a transfer to the circuit's St. Charles office, back pay, punitive damages, reimbursement for his attorney and court costs and other relief. He also wants a jury trial.
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According to the suit:
Bradley was hired as a probation officer in 2006. In Sept. 2010, Bradley applied for a transfer from the Elgin office to the St. Charles office and a month later was told his transfer had not been approved. A white woman in her 20s with less experience than Bradley was instead tapped to fill the spot. Bradley later filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights for age, race and sex discrimination, which is still pending.
After he applied for the job, Bradley's supervisors George Torres and Gae Conroy gave him a negative performance review to block his transfer to St. Charles, he alleges.
Bradley's supervisors ordered independent audits of his work, which increased his workload. Bradley also was reassigned to be an adult probation officer. Torres retrained Bradley for this job and gave him an unsatisfactory evaluation, he alleges.
The increased workload forced Bradley to take disability leave for nerve damage in his right elbow, due to working long hours on a hard surface, he alleges. He collected workman's compensation from August through December. After he returned to the office, he was later found to have been insubordinate for disobeying another supervisor.
Bradley took sick leave after the hearing for his arm and went on disability again through February. He ultimately was fired in June. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission granted Bradley a right to sue for all of those other matters.
Torres did not return a phone call Monday and Conroy, who no longer works in the circuit, could not be reached for comment.
Lisa Aust, executive director of court services for the 16th Judicial Circuit, said she couldn't discuss the lawsuit because she hadn't seen it. "We have no comment on pending litigation," she said. The case is scheduled for a status hearing before Judge Suzanne Conlon in October.