Former deputy gets settlement in paternal leave dispute

December 28, 2021 GMT

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former Linn County sheriff’s deputy and his lawyers will receive more than $500,000 to settle a lawsuit he filed claiming that he was harassed and discriminated against because he took paternity leave.

Scott Becker filed a federal lawsuit against the county last year. He said co-workers who didn’t want to cover his shifts while he was on paternity leave in 2018 said he should ’’feel guilty and ashamed” for taking time off to care for his newborn son, The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported Tuesday.

Becker will be paid $334,062 and Fiedler Law Firm in Des Moines will be paid $240,937, according to a settlement document. In the settlement, the county still disputes Becker’s allegations and he agreed not to seek employment with the sheriff’s office in the future.


Three to four co-workers were given weeklong suspensions for harassing Becker and others received written warnings, according to Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner, who said “at least one” training seminar on harassment was held.

Gardner previously told The Gazette he attributed the harassment to staffing problems at the Linn County Correctional Center, where employees were already working multiple 16-hour shifts during the week.