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Dismissed pathologists allege discrimination by coroner

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in Firing,Hiring,Human Resources

Two white pathologists have sued the Marion County coroner, alleging their terminations were based on race, not merit. The two were terminated eight months into a five-year contract. The coroner’s office gave no reason for the dismissals.

According to the complaint, coroner Kenneth Ackles, who is black, promised during his campaign to increase the number of black employees in the coroner’s office. The pathologists now are using that promise as evidence of discrimination.

Additionally, Ackles allegedly told his assistant that he wanted to replace white employees with blacks, hire a black female forensic pathologist and contract with a black-owned pathology firm.

Marion County is not the only local government facing discrimination charges. Indianapolis faces a reverse-discrimination suit from the U.S. Justice Department, which alleges the city pays women and minority police officers more than similarly qualified white males.

Note: Employers are free to recruit women and minorities as part of their diversity initiatives. But when employers base hiring and pay decisions on race or gender, they are playing with fire.

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