The City of Boise settled a lawsuit with a former Boise Public Library employee on Friday.
In 2021, Jax Perez filed a complaint in federal court against an HR staffer and two library employees seeking compensation for discrimination. Perez claimed that they were discriminated against for their non-binary identity after a series of disciplinary actions in 2019.
BoiseDev reported that when they decided to file the complaint, Perez said it was necessary to hold officials responsible and seek a more inclusive workplace for future LGBTQ employees. They said the city’s lack of action to resolve the case while also celebrating Pride Month with banners of the transgender flag hanging in downtown Boise was “complete hypocrisy.”
The city wrote in a news release that both parties were able to reach a settlement after evaluating the “merits of the case and the resources requested for extensive litigation.” The amount of the settlement was not disclosed in the press release.
The complaint that Perez filed said that the City of Boise violated their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and equal protection. They said this led to ongoing “emotional distress and psychological damage.” The case started after a social media post and after a patron objected to Pride merchandise on display at the Hillcrest library location.
Perez resigned from their position at the library in 2020.
“The City of Boise is committed to being a city for everyone and seeks to create and sustain a workplace where LGBTQ+ employees are welcomed and respected for their contributions,” the city’s press release said. “The city’s policies and practices continue to make the equitable treatment of employees a priority. This settlement is an affirmation of that commitment.”
BoiseDev’s Margaret Carmel contributed reporting.