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Former police officer alleges workplace discrimination by chief

Police officers in Florida may be interested in a lawsuit that was filed by a former cop against the city in which he was employed. The complaint alleges unfair hiring practices, disability discrimination and other workplace discrimination. The allegations are made against the city and some of its employees.

The ex-cop claims to have undergone two surgical procedures for back injuries that he suffered on duty in 2004 and again in 2010. Although he continued working as an officer for years after the surgeries, by 2013 he was declared medically disabled to continue being a police officer. He then secured a part-time administrative position, and he claims to have applied for the permanent appointment in that position. However, he alleges that in 2014, a permanent employee -- less qualified than himself -- was appointed to that position without allowing the plaintiff an interview.

Further allegations state that he was overlooked again in 2015 when another permanent position was filled without his knowledge of the vacancy. The former police officer accuses the police chief of sexual harassment. Because female employees traditionally did the administrative job he was doing, the plaintiff claims the chief mockingly referred to him as a woman, and complaints about this harassment to a supervisor were allegedly ignored.

Police officers in Florida who are suffering the consequences of workplace discrimination or other employment law violations are entitled to pursue recovery of damages. Workers are protected by statutes such as the American's with Disabilities Act and sexual harassment laws. The burden of proof will be on the plaintiff, and this could be complicated. However, the skills of an experienced labor law attorney are available to navigate such a claim on behalf of the client.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Ex-cop claims unfair hiring practices in suit against Crown Point PD", Jim Masters, Sept. 21, 2016

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