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Iowa Court overturns $ 1.5 million in retaliation



The Iowa Supreme Court returned a $ 1.5 million jury award to a former Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation Commissioner in his trial in which he was accused of being retaliated against by former Gov. Terry Branstad for his sexual orientation.

Godfrey v. Iowa State The state Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision on Wednesday that former Commissioner Chris Godfrey failed to show that Mr. Branstad knew about his sexual orientation when he lowered his salary and later demanded his departure.

In 2011, Mr Godfrey, who was two years into a six-year term as State Commissioner of Labor, claimed that the governor's office reduced his salary from $ 112,068 to $ 73,250. In 201

3, he filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, arguing that the pay cut was an attempt to intimidate him into resigning and that the governor's office "deprived the plaintiff of equal protection" by enforcing policies that treat gay government officials. different from heterosexual appointing government officials, ”according to court documents.

He also claimed that the former governor demanded that he resign because of party politics. Branstad, who was named the US ambassador to China in 2017, said he knew nothing about Mr. Godfrey's sexual orientation.

On July 15, 2019, a jury in Polk County, Iowa, awarded Mr. Godfrey $ 1.5 million after discovering that the commissioner was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation and political affiliation. evidence that Branstad knew about his sexual orientation. The court also found that Mr. Godfrey had "no procedural or substantive fair right under the Iowa Constitution to continue his salary at a certain level."

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