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Fort Pierce former officer wins $510k for sexual harassment claim

One of the female police officers of the Fort Pierce Police Department in Florida alleges that her work environment was so stressful that she was forced to quit. She claims that she was the victim of sexual harassment for years and also suffered discrimination because of her gender. Her claim against the department was heard by a jury in a federal court.

The plaintiff claims that her lieutenant accused of her of having relations with one of the police detectives, who was married. She alleges that she was given a derogatory nickname that was slang for a woman who has sex with multiple police officers. No longer wanting to tolerate this behavior, the plaintiff reported her situation, but she says that was when everything changed.

The woman claims that the lieutenant instructed the other officers to avoid her and not help her when she needed it. He allegedly also told her that he did not want her to work when he worked and that no one else wanted to work with her either. From all of the stress and strain, the plaintiff began to suffer mentally, but she was casually told to take drugs to handle how she was feeling. Ultimately, after being demoted and reinstated, she resigned.

Fellow male officers testified during the case and backed up the plaintiff's story, stating that the lieutenant abused the power of his office. Some female officers also testified and claimed that the woman officers are not treated equally and are not as respected as the men. The jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her $225,000 in emotional damages and $285,00 in lost wages for her sexual harassment and discrimination case. It has not yet been determined if the Florida federal court's ruling will be appealed by the city.

Source: cbs12.com, "Former female cop wins $500K sexual harassment lawsuit against city of Fort Pierce", Jana Eschbach, Aug. 31, 2015

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