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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Former NE instructor settles discrimination suit against TCC for $160,000

By Joshua Knopp/special assignments editor
A former NE Campus English instructor received $160,000 and a letter of recommendation when she settled her discrimination lawsuit with TCC.

Jacqueline Gill was hired to a temporary full-time position for the 2009-10 school year. That May, according to Gill’s initial complaint, she was not allowed to interview for a permanent position despite being led to believe that success in a temporary full-time position leads to being hired.

In September 2011, after not finding work, Gill sued the college along with NE English chair Eric Devlin and NE humanities dean Antonio Howell, her superiors during her time at the college, for hiring discrimination. Gill is a lesbian, and, according to her complaint, she was not interviewed because of discrimination on Devlin’s and Howell’s parts. According to the college’s response, Gill was let go for being a bad teacher.

As part of the settlement, reached in July, Devlin’s and Howell’s names were both removed from the complaint.

Kenneth Upton, Gill’s lawyer, said an important matter was settled in March when Judge Terry Means ruled that Devlin and Howell were not protected by qualified immunity, which protects individuals employed by the government from lawsuit.

“Jackie’s fight resulted in a published decision by the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas that makes it clear that public employers can no longer claim ignorance about whether discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation violates the U.S. Constitution,” Upton said.

The majority of the settlement came from TCC’s legal insurance carrier, Chartis. For covered legal cases, TCC’s deductible is $75,000, which includes both legal fees and settlement money. The rest was covered by the carrier.

Angela Robinson, TCC’s vice chancellor of administration and general counsel, told the Star-Telegram that settling had become the least costly solution and maintained that Gill’s allegations of discrimination are false.

Gill is currently a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Arlington. She could not be reached for comment.
Both Devlin and Howell declined comment.

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