Brian Royster, a former New Jersey State Police trooper, has been awarded $1.06 million by an Essex County Superior Court jury; however, because of a cap on damages for emotional distress under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) his award will be limited to $860,000.
Royster filed his lawsuit against the New Jersey State Police, Superintendent Rick Fuentes, and others, in 2005 under the New Jersey Conscientious Employees Protection Act, and the state’s Law against Discrimination, as well as Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. His lawsuit was dismissed in 2006 but revived upon appeal in 2007.
Royster alleged that that the police department not only failed to act on his race discrimination complaints, but also failed to provide him reasonable accommodations for his inflammatory bowel disease. According to Royster, he was subjected to a pattern of disparate and racially-motivated treatment by his supervisor, and the police department’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action unit did not properly investigate his complaints. When he began complaining about the department’s alleged practices, he was denied a promotion and given a poor performance evaluation.
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