Former Sedgwick County worker alleges in lawsuit he was called racial names by coworker

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A former Sedgwick County employee alleges his coworkers racially discriminated against him by referring to him as “boy” or the “colored guy,” according to a lawsuit.

David Partridge, whom court documents describe as a biracial Black man, sued Sedgwick County commissioners in October 2021.

Partridge worked as a bridge crewman for the county from December 2019 to August 2021. He said he experienced a “racially hostile work environment,” according to the lawsuit.

Partridge alleges that his crew chief sang spirituals from the era of slavery and included Partridge’s name in the lyrics, the lawsuit says.

These concerns were shared with county manager Tom Stolz after the county’s human resource department conducted an investigation. Partridge was moved to a different work area in the meantime, the lawsuit said.

Sedgwick County chose not to comment on the lawsuit.

The investigation concluded that the county’s policy on racial discrimination had been violated. Stolz told Partridge he would not have to return to that work crew, the lawsuit said.

Partridge had applied for a different position but was denied. He was offered another position within the county at a lower salary, the lawsuit says.

He refused to return to the crew where he was allegedly racially harassed, and did not want to take a pay cut. He was fired on Aug. 2, the suit says.

The lawsuit was originally filed in Sedgwick County District Court. Sean McGivern, who is Partridge’s attorney, requested a notice of removal to have the case moved to federal court.

Court documents say Partridge’s federal constitutional rights were violated, and the case should be tried at the federal level.

Partridge is seeking $75,000 in damages. He has also requested a jury trial.

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