BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -A decades-long legal battle over Jefferson County’s hiring practices has finally reached its conclusion.
After being under the watchful eye of the federal government for nearly 40 years for its hiring, firing and promotions practices, Jefferson County has now been released from one of the longest consent decree’s in the country. This after being sued in the late 1970′s for racial and sex discrimination. The consent decree has been in place since 1982 until today.
“This is particular momentous for me being the county’s first African American county attorney,” Jefferson County Attorney Theo Lawson said.
Theo Lawson has been county attorney since 2016. Lawson says today’s announcement is a reflection of the hard work put in to make county government open for everyone.
“This day marks the beginning of Jefferson County being both a county that strives to be an employee of choice among governments and also as we strive for excellence and inclusiveness in our hiring practices,” Lawson said.
Commission President Jimmie Stephens says he and others have been working for years to get to this day. He calls the county’s current hiring practices progressive and color blind.
“We promise that his is a beginning of a new day for Jefferson County and that we pledge to continue to work together for the good of the citizens of Jefferson County,” Stephens said.
Monday’s action by the court comes three months after everyone involved with the lawsuit agreed to end the consent decree.