After 11 years of back and forth, Brookline town members have voted to award Gerald Alston with $11m settlement. This brings to a closure a lawsuit filed by Gerald in 2010 after he was fired for refusing to work in what he termed a racist workplace.
Gerald was agitated and refused to go back to work after his fire department supervisor; Paul Pender left a voicemail in his phone where he was heard calling a motorist the n-word. Paul was calling Gerald to check on his well being after he got into an accident while on duty.
It was during this call that Paul left the voicemail where he was heard calling another motorist the n-word. Although the supervisor later apologized, Gerald was fired after he refused to go back to work. Gerald’s settlement had been announced by Brookline’s select board in September but was awaiting Tuesday’s meeting for approval.
Massachusetts Civil Service had ordered the town to reinstate Gerald and give him full pay in 2019 and they put him on paid leave. In April this year the supreme judicial court ruled that Gerald was illegally fired and this paved the way for the settlement.
Gerald celebrated the win saying, “The weight of the world is off my shoulders right now. I’m happy because the truth has always been there.”