Jury sides with state in second racial bias case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Polk County jury sided with the state of Iowa in the second trial alleging racial bias in hiring practices at Iowa Workforce Development.

Tereasa Jefferson, who is 57, alleges the state discriminated against her when she was fired in 1999. She alleges her boss, Jackie Mallory, the agency’s human resources director, placed her on a do-not-hire list, preventing her from being considered for other state jobs for years.

It’s the second case to stem from a class-action lawsuit that claimed thousands of blacks were denied state jobs due to discrimination.

Jefferson sought to recover between $175,000 and $400,000 in back pay in addition to money for emotional distress.

The state’s attorneys say race was never a factor in employment decisions and the jury agreed Tuesday, denying Jefferson any award.

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