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Sacramento Employment Law Blog


Police officer awarded $1.2 million in discrimination lawsuit

Being the victim of abuse, mistreatment or a hostile work environment can make every workday feel worse than the day before. Crude behaviors, inappropriate comments and unfair treatment when it comes to promotions or job assignments can make it impossible for a person to do his or her job well. Further, this level of workplace discrimination or harassment can have a serious and long-lasting effect on a person’s emotional wellbeing.

To make matters worse, many victims of this type of misconduct feel as though there is nothing they can do to stop the negative or harmful behavior. They may file a complaint with their manager or with Human Resources, but all too often, these complaints are ignored or dismissed as not being a big deal. For those who face this behavior at work, however, it is quite a big deal.

Recently, a black police officer filed a lawsuit after he says he was the victim of repeated harassment and discriminatory behavior. Over the course of at least a year, the Los Angeles police officer states that other officers would harass him because of his race. The officer reported the racist comments and behavior to the department, but they failed to take his concerns and claims seriously. As a result of the abusive behavior and the dismissal of his complaint, the officer experienced mental suffering and emotional distress.

A jury made it clear that they, unlike the department, found the officer’s claims valid and troubling. They awarded the man $1.2 million for the damages he experienced as a victim to this kind of behavior.

Being mistreated because of your race is considered discrimination. Workers who are harassed, fired or denied a promotion because of their race can take action against an unlawful employer or co-worker by filing a lawsuit. The color of a person’s skin or the country of his or her origin should not be used against a person in the workplace.

Source: Associated Press, “Black LAPD officer wins $1.2M discrimination suit,” March 26, 2013