Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Officer gets settlement; retirement for employment discrimination

An African-American police officer who has been employed by the same department for approximately 29 years is now being forced into retirement as part of a settlement agreement. The man filed an employment discrimination lawsuit concerning racial slurs against the internal affairs division of the city's police force. Though this dispute did not occur in California, this type of discrimination is not limited to any one geographical area.

The officer at the center of this particular case filed a complaint over racially charged graffiti that had been inscribed in the department's rest room. In addition, he stated that a fellow officer made racially offensive remarks concerning another African-American officer. The man was recently offered a settlement for his case with the condition that he retire.

The city voted four to two to approve the $300,000 proposal. One of the members who voted against the agreement did so because he did not agree that the officer should be required to retire. He stated that forced retirement  did not send the right message about racial discrimination, which should not be tolerated by the city. The lawyer for the officer stated that the  lieutenant had previously considered retirement. The officer was on paid suspension after publicly confronting a superior officer over the lack of an investigation into his formal complaint.

The officer's wife, who is also a member of the police force, and a third officer also have filed similar lawsuits. The director of police has not offered any public comments concerning the settlement or other pending legal claims. California workers who are facing any type of employment discrimination have the right to seek a suitable remedy against an employer who is engaging or permitting this type of unlawful behavior. An experienced employment law attorney can provide a thorough assessment of one's case in order to find the most satisfactory solutions. 

Source:, "Paterson cop getting $300k settlement in racism lawsuit", Joe Malinconico, Feb. 9, 2018

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