Five employees of the Elmwood Park Police Department, who have been fired or suspended within the past year, are claiming that the cause for their dismissal was not the charges brought against them, but instead was fueled by discrimination and retaliation.
One officer, dismissed for consistently reporting inaccurate mileage on his police car, believes his dismissal was due to a vendetta the current chief has against his father, the former chief. A female dispatcher, accused of collaborating with another officer to steal a computer, claims she was the target of blatant ageism and sexism for years. Still other officers believe their suspensions were nothing more than the result of the racist workplace culture they are exposed to daily.
Discrimination within Police Departments
The Elmwood Park lawsuits may seem close to home for many of us in New Jersey, but Elmwood Park’s police discrimination claims are not unique. In fact, discrimination within police forces is a worldwide problem.
For example, in November 2008, a female officer in the LAPD canine bomb unit was awarded $2.25 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit. The only male who came to her defense, a twenty-one-year LAPD veteran, was also awarded compensation, due to the fact that he was stripped of his tile and rank in retaliation for doing so.
In other examples:
- Boston – In 2018 monetary settlements were awarded to two black officers who filed a racism lawsuit against their police department.
- California – In 2017, Five police officers of Asian descent sued their department for discrimination, including racial harassment, discriminatory remarks, and denial of promotion.
- UK -In 2015 A black police officer won a racial discrimination case against his department after being passed up for a promotion, only to discover that his assessments were downgraded to look like he scored lower than his co-workers.
Discrimination and Retaliation Laws
Most people know that there are laws that protect them from discrimination in the workplace. In fact, federal anti-discrimination law prohibits employers and other employees from discriminating against workers for things like race, age, gender, religion, and more.
Additionally, discrimination laws are not limited to lewd comments, racial slurs, and unwanted physical contact. Discrimination is prohibited in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, layoffs, salary, promotions, job assignments, and benefits.
However, these laws also protect workers from retaliation, should they report or be involved in an investigation of discrimination in the workplace. Retaliation occurs when an employer tries to “punish” an employee for doing something they have a legal right to do.
What Does Retaliation Look Like?
If an employee who files a discrimination complaint immediately gets fired, that may be a blatant sign of retaliation. However, retaliation is often harder to detect than this.
Below are some common examples of employer retaliation:
- Job re-assignment
- Exclusion from staff meetings or outings
- Salary reduction
- Unfair performance review
Middletown Employment Discrimination Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Advocate for Victims of Workplace Discrimination and Harassment
If you are experiencing discrimination in the workplace or have questions regarding another work-related legal matter, an experienced Middletown employment discrimination lawyer at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. is ready to help. Our dedicated lawyers are experienced in all facets of New Jersey employment law and can help with workplace injuries, filing Workers’ Compensation claims, and all other employment matters.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.