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Harassment, ignored complaints lands SDPD in court

A female detective who worked at the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) for over 20 years as a 'sex crimes' detective has sued her former employer for sexual discrimination, harassment and age discrimination. The California lawsuit names the SDPD and four of the woman's supervisors and ex-workers. She complains of various forms of sexual harassment in the workplace, including inappropriate actions and comments. The harassment is said to have escalated in 2009.

The woman's lawsuit alleges a hostile work environment, comments and activities of a sexual nature and a long record of ignored complaints. The plaintiff points to a particular detective as the root of the problem, saying he even made light of female sex crimes victims. He is alleged to have sent lewd e-mails and made sexually disparaging comments, as well as treating male employees better than female workers.

For its part, the City Attorney said nothing more than his office would be preparing a defense and advising the City Council. The counsel for the police chief separately indicated the charges were more than a year old, and as such, any necessary corrective measures would have occurred "long ago." That, of course, does not answer the complaint currently pending in court.

A victim of sexual discrimination in the workplace, as well as harassment and age discrimination is protected by the laws of the State of California and the laws of the United States. Monetary damages may be awarded, as well as punitive damages for egregious conduct occasioned by a pervasively hostile work environment. The laws are numerous and confusing to many people. A California attorney experienced in handling cases involving sexual harassment in the workplace may provide some support and help hold wrongdoers accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Source: NBC San Diego, "Cop Accuses SDPD of Sexual Discrimination," Lauren Steussy and Paul Krueger, Sept. 13, 2011

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