Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Justice Department Obtains Settlement in Title VI Retaliation Matter with the Florida State Courts System

The Justice Department announced a settlement agreement with the Florida State Courts System to resolve a retaliation investigation and finding under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As part of the settlement, the Florida State Courts will implement anti-retaliation policies and training and pay $160,000 in damages to a former employee who experienced retaliation.

The settlement resolves the Justice Department’s finding that the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida retaliated against the former employee in violation of Title VI, which prohibits race, color or national origin discrimination by recipients of federal financial assistance and prohibits retaliation against individuals who engage in Title VI protected activity, such as filing a complaint or participating in an investigation. The department concluded that the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida unlawfully terminated the employee for assisting a limited English proficient (LEP) court user with an interpreter request and for assisting an advocate who filed a Justice Department Title VI complaint about language access services.   

“This settlement sends a message that those who speak up for fundamental civil rights — like the right of meaningful access to our judicial system — must be able to do so without fear of reprisal,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously investigate allegations of retaliation against individuals who courageously stand up to hold others accountable for compliance with the laws we enforce. I commend the Florida State Courts System for committing to address this unlawful retaliation and prevent its recurrence.”

The enforcement of Title VI is a top priority of the Civil Rights Division. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its website at www.justice.gov/crt, and information about limited English proficiency and Title VI is available at www.lep.gov. Members of the public may report possible civil rights violations at https://civilrights.justice.gov/report/. View the Spanish translation of this press release here.

Updated September 14, 2021