Missouri to pay $2 million to settle discrimination lawsuit

     JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) A former director of Missouri’s unemployment benefits agency has agreed to a $2 million settlement to drop a discrimination lawsuit against Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration.

     Settlement documents provided Friday under open-records laws show the state is to pay $1.2 million to Gracia Backer and an additional $800,000 to her attorneys at Roger Brown and Associates.

     Backer claimed she was fired in March 2013 as director of the Employment Security Division in retaliation for complaining to the governor’s office about her boss, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Larry Rebman. Backer had alleged that Rebman was creating a hostile work environment and discriminating against older female employees.

     Rebman denied the allegations.

     The settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing and says Backer cannot reapply for a state job.


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