Rep. Lewis, Capitol Hill staffer settle discrimination suit

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, has settled a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee who claimed she was passed over for a promotion because she is a black woman.

Lovelean Williams, a member of Lewis’ staff for 13 years and the former director of his Atlanta office, claimed Lewis’ chief of staff selected a younger white male over her to fill a position. Williams eventually got the job after the man left but was paid less for the same work. Williams said Lewis was aware of the actions. She sought at least $610,000 in damages.

Lewis, who is black, denied the allegations, but settled the lawsuit for an unspecified amount. In a statement, he said he wanted to avoid a costly legal battle.

Note: Discrimination does not have to be intentional. Audit your hiring, promotion and firing decisions periodically to ensure your policies are bias-free.