Female Police Officer Retaliation Award Upheld

A recent case upheld a $417,955 jury verdict award in a sex discrimination retaliation case. In Lore v. Syracuse, a female police officer – Therese Lore – filed a sex discrimination case claim after she had replaced in her position as a Public Information Officer with the City of Syracuse.

Federal law provides that a sex discrimination claim may be filed where you have been discriminated against “because of” your gender. This means your gender must not play a role in any employment action decision including hiring, firing, promotions, transfers, pay and disciplinary actions. Additionally, in order to protect those who have been discriminated against and to promote fairness in the work place, federal law also prohibits retaliation by employers against employees who file discrimination complaints. If you have questions concerning employment discrimination or gender discrimination, an experienced Georgia discrimination lawyer can help provide valuable answers and counsel you concerning your next steps.

Here, the police chief told Lore she was transferred because “women should be seen and not heard” and that she had too much influence. She was placed in a less desirable job. After filing a grievance she was assigned to a new post, but then continued to receive fewer assignments than other sergeants in the division, and received less overtime pay. Lore subsequently filed a discrimination complaint as well as a claim for retaliation.

As evidence that she was receiving less overtime pay than other, Lore copied pay stubs. Shortly thereafter, the attorney for the police department informed news media that she had been suspended for copying checks and her claims were meant to divert attention from her “poor job performance.”

At trial a jury found in favor of Lore and awarded her damages that included $100,000 for damage to her reputation. The appellate court upheld the retaliation verdict finding that the negative comments to the press constituted an “adverse employment action” within the definition of “retaliation.”

Retaliatory actions can take many forms. If you believe you have been retaliated against for complaining about discrimination, it is important to speak up. Federal law prohibits your employer from taking any negative action against you for filing a claim of discrimination.

For more information or if you believe you have been subjected to employment discrimination or have suffered retaliation as the result, please contact an experienced Georgia retaliation lawyer immediately at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP to protect your rights.