(CN) – The 8th Circuit reinstated a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by five black St. Louis County Department of Revenue employees in 2005. The workers say they and other black workers were transferred in 2004 after they complained of the bias. County officials said the move was to alleviate a backlog in another department.
Carolyn Betton, Cytoys Durham, Colette Howard, Jurlean Johnson and Charlene King claimed they were filed the original lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Jean C. Hamilton dismissed it in 2008 after finding no retaliation.
But a three-judge panel in the 8th Circuit ruled that a jury should decide whether the transfers were retaliation. The panel said the timing of the reassignments and changes in duties “created a jury question as to whether the reassignments were retaliatory.”