Police Sergeant Sues Police Department For Retaliation And Racial Discrimination
You would think that police departments, of all places, would want people to report misconduct to them when they see it. Isn’t finding out about crimes and stopping them in their tracks one of the main goals of law enforcement? When it comes to reporting misconduct in the workplace, though, no good deed goes unpunished, despite that this is not how employment laws would have it. Reporting misconduct at your place of employment to leaders within your organization, regulators, or law enforcement is a legally protected activity. This means that, if you report illegal or unethical actions by your employer or one of its representatives, it is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you by firing you, demoting you, or otherwise taking an adverse action against you. Unfortunately, employers take advantage of the fact that filing an employer retaliation claim is a lot of work and assume that they can get away with retaliating against whistleblowers. If you are a law enforcement officer and your employer retaliated against you for reporting misconduct within your police department, contact a Los Angeles retaliation lawyer.
Plaintiff Alleges That Employer Punished Him for Reporting Misconduct and Unjustly Rejected His Workers’ Compensation Claim
The plaintiff in this case is a Black man who worked for a police department in a California city from 2004 until 2007, then moved to a different job, and after that, returned to the same police department in 2017. Although he achieved the rank of sergeant, his second tenure at the police department was fraught with problems due to the corrupt behavior he witnessed and the harassment he experienced. These are some examples of the harassment the plaintiff faced:
- A supervisor told him repeatedly that other officers were uncomfortable working with the plaintiff because he is Black
- The same supervisor tried to pressure the plaintiff into hiring the supervisor’s wife as a real estate agent
- Another supervisor made lewd comments to the plaintiff about the plaintiff’s wife
Things got much worse when the plaintiff reported incidents of misconduct that could jeopardize criminal investigations. For example, officers left items that were being used as evidence in an investigation into a rape case unattended in a room where people other than police could access the items; some of the people with access to the room were prison inmates who had a work assignment at the police station. In another incident, an officer kept illegal drugs he had seized at a traffic stop in his patrol car instead of handing them over to the forensics lab.
The final straw came when the plaintiff and a white colleague both filed workers’ compensation claims in connection to the same incident, requesting treatment for the same symptoms. The employer approved the white colleague’s claim but rejected the plaintiff’s claim. The plaintiff is seeking at least $75,000 in damages.
Speak With a Los Angeles Employer Retaliation Lawyer
A Los Angeles employer retaliation lawyer can help you if your employer penalized you for reporting misconduct at your place of employment. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.