OFFICER FILES SUIT AGAINST EMPLOYER FOR SEXUAL DISCRIMINATION

March 28th, 2012

When it seems like people are accepting of others and their beliefs, something happens to change that. For a St. Cloud, Minnesota, police officer his career and performance were rated high until he revealed his sexual orientation to his employer. Now, the officer who was viewed highly within his department believes he is being discriminated against because of his sexual orientation.

The officer began his career in 2006 as a police officer and over the next several years he was viewed as an “excellent officer” and earned high marks on his monthly performance reports. During these first few years, he received letters of recognition and commendation for various accomplishments.

That all changed in 2009 when the management in the department learned of his sexual orientation. The man began experiencing rejection for requests to work at an outreach booth at the Twin Cities Pride Festival and denied him vacation time to work at the booth on his own time. Since then, the officer feels that there was an effort to fill his personnel file with disciplinary documents to try and get him to resign. Some of the complaints that the officer says are in his file include:

  • He was disciplined for tardiness.
  • A backdated disciplinary report was put into his file for an alleged scheduling violation.
  • He was removed as a school resource officer.
  • The department initiated internal investigations against him.
  • Removed him from doing Drug Talks at St. Cloud State University.
  • The department removed him from the neighborhood outreach committee.
  • The department removed him from scheduled training opportunities to help his career.
  • Began altering his work schedule on a weekly basis.
  • Denied him leave to attend funerals in uniform.
  • Put him on a Performance Improvement Plan.

The man complained internally about his treatment and asked for an investigation into it, but his requests were ignored. The department contends that any disciplinary actions taken against this officer were not related to his sexual orientation, but the officer strongly disagrees.

The officer filed charges of discrimination with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, resigned in April 2010 and has since filed suit. The court has since granted a summary judgment in favor of the officer on the Minnesota Human Rights Act claims.

Source: HR.BLR.com, “Sexual Orientation Discrimination Against Police Officer?” March 20, 2012.

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