This week, a former police officer in Syracuse, New York, reached a settlement of $205,000 for her lawsuit against the city. The trial was set to begin in federal court in just four days when the settlement in the race and gender discrimination lawsuit was reached. The woman claimed that she was treated differently than her fellow white male officers. Her supervisors created a hostile work environment by discriminating against her for her gender and race and retaliated against her for lodging complaints.
The retired officer, a 25-year veteran of the force, claimed that her supervisor banned her and other female officers from talking on the job and denied her equitable working conditions as white male officers. The $205,000 settlement is a fraction of what the retired officer had initially sought, but the settlement saves the city the cost of litigation.
A spokesperson for the city acknowledged that the city could have been on the hook for not only the settlement amount -- which was $10 million -- as well as the retired officer's legal fees had she won in court. The spokesperson alleges that the decision to settle prior to the court date was in the best interest of the city, and thus the taxpayers.
This settlement was made just two years after three federal juries awarded over $1 million against the Syracuse police department in lawsuits alleging gender discrimination toward female officers.
For people who face discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, they may not know where to turn. An attorney who is experienced in employment law for employees can serve as an excellent resource and present various options to ensure justice for the person who has faced discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
Source: The Syracuse Post-Standard, "Ex-Syracuse cop settles race, gender discrimination lawsuit for $205,000," John O'Brien, Oct. 26, 2012