The city of Northfield has agreed to pay approximately $24,000 to a former wastewater plant operator who alleged discrimination.
Alexandria Robertson, who worked at the plant from June 2019 until she was fired in April 2020, filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the city in September. The allegations included in the complaint have not been released.
The preliminary agreement was reached in December. The Northfield City Council unanimously approved the agreement following a Jan. 12 closed session.
Northfield has denied liability or wrongdoing. Still, the city agreed to pay Robertson more than $16,000 and her lawyer Epee Law Firm LLC nearly $8,000. The city also agreed to rescind its termination of Robertson, and instead characterize her departure as a resignation. Robertson agreed to waive her employment rights with the city.
“I am confident that our supervisors and staff acted appropriately and professionally regarding (Robertson),” said City Administrator Ben Martig.
“In order to avoid the expense and uncertainty of continued litigation, the parties desire to mutually resolve and settle all disputes,” court documents state.
City Administrator Ben Martig noted the resolution came after the council “was provided detailed background information relevant to the proposed settlement.”
“The City Council had a thorough discussion with questions related to this employment issue as well as to consider appropriate actions to resolve the dispute,” he said. “This discussion occurred in a closed session as allowed under the law to be prudent and respectful of confidentiality.”
“We continue our commitment to be an employer of choice,” he added. “The city champions diversity, equity and inclusion for all our employees and (strives) to provide an environment that provides vast opportunity to be high performers who deliver excellent and innovative service to our community.”
Robertson’s lawyer, Leo Epee, did not immediately return a request for comment.